BERNARD Jackman took Wales and Scarlets scrum-half Gareth Davies' criticism of his young Dragons as a compliment because they frustrated the Guinness PRO14 champions at Judgement Day, writes Chris Kirwan.

The Rodney Parade region were well beaten 33-8 in an uninspiring clash at Principality Stadium with the west Walians getting the bonus point they needed to secure a home quarter-final against the Cheetahs on Sunday.

However, the Scarlets led just 7-3 at half-time and Davies expressed his frustration afterwards.

"We didn't get out of second gear," he said. "Every time we play against the Dragons they seem to bring us down to their level of rugby, which is very average in my opinion."

The 32-times capped international contacted Jackman to say sorry for his comments the following day.

The Dragons head coach welcomed the apology and was pleased that it showed his side, who haven't won in the PRO14 since September, didn't just roll over for one of the title hopefuls.

"I don't see it as a negative that he didn't enjoy playing against us because that's a sign that the youngsters pitched up," said the former Ireland hooker.

"Obviously there are areas of the game that we would prefer to be praised for but if we are to become a winning team then we have to become hard to beat first.

"We have to be able to frustrate the opposition, so his comments were almost a compliment to us to be honest.

"We were disappointed with the comments but fair play to him, he realised pretty quickly that it wasn't really good sportsmanship.

"He contacted me, apologised and it's dealt with. Directly after games sometimes players and coaches say things that they regret later on.

"He was obviously pretty frustrated with his own game and the Scarlets' game, but I appreciate the fact that he was man enough to say that he made a mistake."