THE Dragons suffered a 20-7 defeat to Edinburgh at Murrayfield. Here are the talking points from the Guinness PRO14 clash...


Seven days after they had been destroyed by Leinster’s rapid start to the second half, the Dragons stayed in the fight right until the end at Murrayfield.

“We want a good win on Friday because five points would take us on to 20 points," said Richard Cockerill in midweek but, although his side were more than good value for the victory, they managed just two tries.

Edinburgh tried to hammer their way to a bonus-point win and kicked penalties to touch early on but Dean Ryan’s men earned their respect after a bruising 80 minutes.

The spell on their line at the end of the first half was vital – a second score could have led to the floodgates opening – and the Scots couldn’t shake off their guests.

The Dragons were within a score entering the final quarter and their spirit meant that they nearly got a consolation bonus at the death only for Owen Jenkins’ hack of a loose ball to go into touch.

They may not have left Murrayfield with any more PRO14 points but this was an important step.

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The Dragons did well in defence against the Edinburgh power runners but they are still lacking with ball in hand.

They had spells of pressure that didn’t move the scoreboard along and once again it came down to that familiar lament of the absence of big ball carriers in close quarters.

The Dragons could have done with a Moriarty or Wainwright while Brandon Nansen does provide more oomph with ball in hand, even if the injury-prone Samoa lock is alarmingly brittle.

Ryan has plenty of back row options but could probably do with a player like Netani Talei, formerly of the Dragons and Edinburgh, a lump of a man that came alive in attack to get over the gain line.

Free Press Series: On the run: Dragons wing Owen JenkinsOn the run: Dragons wing Owen Jenkins


At times it seemed that referee George Clancy was having flashbacks to last season when Richard Hibbard was often captain in the absence of Cory Hill.

The Irish official kept talking to the hooker when discussing decisions rather than skipper Rhodri Williams.

That’s a good sign – the Dragons need as many leaders as they can get on the field and it’s a boost for Williams, quiet individual, to have plenty of assistance.


Post-match, Ryan pointed to the power that Edinburgh had among their replacements that allowed them to control the final 15 minutes.

The Scots could bring on fresh legs while loosehead Brok Harris and hooker Richard Hibbard were on for the duration.

Edinburgh brought on lock Grant Gilchrist, fresh from World Cup duty, while the Dragons called for Max Williams, a bright prospect but not the bulkiest of second rows just yet.

Ryan could do with Aaron Jarvis returning to provide prop cover at loosehead rather than his preferred tighthead while Europe surely presents the chance to get hooker Rhys Lawrence and tighthead Lloyd Fairbrother into form.

Expect some Challenge Cup tinkering as the coaches attempt to build some competition.


Not many players provide as much bang for the buck as Adam Warren, who made his 100th Dragons appearance at Murrayfield.

The centre/wing has sat out just 21 games since heading east from the Scarlets in 2015 and is the region’s Mr Dependable.

Modest, humble but incredibly tough, Warren got the try his typically selfless performance deserved in the second half.

When it comes to raw talent Tyler Morgan is the Dragons’ best centre but the first name in midfield over the years has been Warren, be it at 12 or 13, and it’s hard to see that changing.