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Dai Flanagan Says Dragons Missed Their Meal Ticket As They’re Eaten By Sharks

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By David Williams

Dragons coach Dai Flanagan admitted his team had missed a real opportunity as a slump in home form saw them slide out of Europe.

The Dragons were unable to make it four wins in a row at Rodney Parade as they conceded five tries in a 29-9 defeat to the Sharks that saw them crash out of the EPCR Challenge Cup.

Although only trailing 12-6 at the break, the home side were unable to make the most of their chances.

All their points came from the boot of Wales Six Nations Squad member Cai Evans with three penalties.

“We’re disappointed. It’s been a long block of 13 games where these young guys are learning week to week under pressure,” admitted Flanagan.

“We started superbly into the wind, but the missed try was massive. It changed the mood and the atmosphere and when they scored before half-time, momentum swung, and we struggled to recover.

“Their power game was massive, but we gave them soft penalties. We have lots to work on over the break.”

Evans’ first two kicks gave the Dragons a 6-0 lead up until five minutes before half-time. It would have been more had they not blown two tries.

Scrum-half Dane Blacker stepped through, but somehow managed to find a Sharks player with what should have been a scoring pass to either of the two players in support.

Then wing Jared Rosser collected a clearance kick, beat two tacklers, hacked up field and then beat the last defender to seemingly score.

Evans converted the try, but French referee Adrien Marbot then ruled out the try after consultation with the TMO, adjudging Roser had misjudged his dive on the ball.

Then came two tries from the Sharks just before the break to edge themselves ahead.

Evans landed a third penalty after the break, but the Sharks bagged a home draw in the Round of 16 as they added three more tries.

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