Richard Hibbard has demanded his Dragons players react after a defeat to Leinster he admitted “lacked physicality.”
The Dragons captain and former Wales hooker led a team that collapsed to an embarrassing 59-10 home defeat on Saturday, even though the Guinness Pro14 champions fielded a team of virtual unknowns.
Hibbard was left angry by the performance which came a week after they appeared to be heading in the right direction after victory over Edinburgh.
Instead, the Dragons suffered their biggest defeat of the season and Hibbard admitted: I honestly can’t put my finger on it, I thought that we lacked physicality out there, and cohesion.
“From last week against Edinburgh it was chalk and cheese. Last week we really put it out there but this week we didn’t have it. We let ourselves down out there.
“We had the worst possible start and it wasn’t down to them, they are a good team and we know that Leinster are clinical, but we gave them possession and a hell of a start.”
Dragons head coach Bernard Jackman was not at the game as he served out his touchline ban imposed by the Welsh Rugby Union for criticising referees.
But forward coach Ceri Jones confessed that in many ways the defeat has sent his team back to square one.
“We need to go back to the drawing board on Monday and look at that performance because it wasn’t good enough,” said Jones.
“I wasn’t expecting the performance we put on the field. We gave them too much time, made too many basic errors and you can’t do that against a quality team.
“We have a good group of players here,” he added. “They are a young group, all 23 were Welsh qualified today, and as far as I’m concerned we have got to go back to work on Monday and do our job.
The Dragons now face two difficult trips in the European Challenge Cup over the next two weeks and Jones acknowledged the team would need to step up.
“We’ve got a couple of tough weeks with Northampton and Clermont away from home in Europe, we know how tough that is going to be,” he said.
“But we have got to prepare right and take that into the next few weeks before we go into the Welsh derby games.
“We weren’t good enough on the day. We’re all disappointed, I felt we could have done a lot better than we did and we all feel that and have to get better.”