ASSISTANT Ceri Jones hailed the Dragons players for digging deep to reward absent boss Bernard Jackman’s preparation with victory against Edinburgh.

The Rodney Parade region recorded their first Guinness PRO14 victory since September thanks to a double from wing Jared Rosser and eight points from the left boot of Jason Tovey in a nervy 18-12 success.

They had to withstand a late charge on their line by the Scots and their defensive stand earned four points to climb off the bottom of Conference B.

Jackman wasn’t present to enjoy the victory as last week he was handed a two-week stadium ban for comments he made about Welsh referee Ian Davies after the derby loss to Cardiff Blues.

However, Jones said that the former Ireland hooker put the plans in place for a precious four points.

“Bernard did a superb job all week prepping the team and the boys responded really well given any pressures there might have been from outside,” said the former Wales prop.

“We will be happy to get Bernard back but I am the forwards coach so generally on gameday I give forwards messages and Barry gives the backs messages. We took a practical approach to it and that was that.”

The Dragons have now eclipsed last season’s paltry tally of two league wins and it was a much-needed victory ahead of a schedule that pits them against champions Leinster, Northampton and Clermont Auvergne in Europe then Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys in festive derbies.

“It was a really good performance, based on our defence,” said Jones. “We always knew it was going to take time, we can build on this.

“It was the work rate and the players playing for each other. They scrambled and worked really hard for each other all the way through the game.

“It is an important result. We have got a very hard run coming up and we have to pick the bones out of this, of which there was a lot of good effort, and take that into the next month.

“Leinster will be a tough game, they have most of the Ireland team and they are number two in the world. All we can do is put our best performance out on the field.”

Ollie Griffiths took the man of the match award after an all-action display but Jones was quick to point to the performance of another promising Welsh back row forward.

“Ollie was outstanding but I also thought that Harrison Keddie was very good. Those boys are young, Welsh and they are putting their hands up with good performances,” said Jones.

“Harrison has been very unfortunate with the timings of the injuries that he has had. He was part of the Welsh squad, going down there to train with them with Leon Brown, and he has shown what a quality player he is.

“He is a good lineout forward – he took a lot of ball against Edinburgh and put a lot of pressure on them – and he is dynamic.”