BOSS Bernard Jackman says the Dragons need to develop some mental strength after another Guinness PRO14 implosion.

The Rodney Parade region are enduring a nightmare season that has featured just seven wins and two draws from 27 games in all competitions.

They are without a success in the PRO14 since September and have put in three horror shows on the spin in defeat to Benetton in Newport, Edinburgh at Ebbw Vale and the Southern Kings in Port Elizabeth.

The loss to the previously winless South Africans at Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium was a new low, conceding six tries in a 45-13 hammering.

The Dragons were second best in all facets yet head coach Jackman, who took the helm last summer, was most disappointed with the way that they collapsed from a leading position.

A cracking score by full-back Masixole Banda with the last play of the first half gave the South Africans a 14-13 lead and then they won the second half 31-0.

"It was very disappointing. The problem with us is that we have mental frailties," said Jackman.

"We made some errors in the first half – handling errors, poor kicking etcetera – but we should have been going in 13-7 up.

"Then we didn't deal with the kick-off and conceded, so they went in on a high while we are on a downer and the boys started doubting themselves.

"Straight after half-time, similar to Edinburgh (the previous week), we conceded again and again.

"When we concede two tries we just lose all our shape and every time we turn the ball over we are vulnerable.

"We got what we deserved because we are not as mentally tough as we need to be and are lacking a bit of leadership and direction.

"That's what we have and that's what we've got to fix. We've got to work hard and get a bit of respect back."

The Dragons have a fortnight without action while the Anglo-Welsh Cup, featuring the English quartet of Bath, Northampton, Exeter and Newcastle, comes to a conclusion.

They then host welcome the Cheetahs to Rodney Parade on Friday, March 23 – their last game of the season in Newport with an Italian double-header against Benetton and Zebre plus the Judgement Day clash with the Scarlets to come.

Jackman must mull over giving the influential Wales duo of lock Cory Hill and hooker Elliot Dee swift returns despite their Six Nations exertions to provide some of that desired leadership.

They will also hope to have the services of flanker Ollie Griffiths, who was forced to pull out of the XV in the warm-up in Port Elizabeth, and scrum-half Sarel Pretorius, who was laid low by a virus and was unable to feature.