Dragons director of rugby, Dean Ryan. Pic: Getty Images.

Dean Ryan Salutes Young Dragons As Scarlets Get Burned In Rainbow Cup

By David Williams

Dean Ryan was delighted with the attacking threat posed by his Dragons side after they put 50 points on the Scarlets to start their Rainbow Cup campaign with a bang.

The men from Rodney Parade ran in seven tries against their Llanelli-based opponents with Wales squad members Jonah Holmes and Aaron Wainwright both scoring twice.

Jordan Williams, Rio Dyer and Aneurin Owen were all on the scoreboard too as the Dragons racked up a 52-32 success.

“I thought our attack was outstanding and we looked threatening,” said Ryan.

“I was worried about how much we had to construct our tries and how quickly we gave them back, certainly in that first half.

“That’s something we have got to be careful of because our desire to attack can sometimes open up our try line.

“We talked a lot about learning from the Northampton game and saying intent was probably our best defender.

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“We went into our shells against Northampton and were desperate for the 80-minute bell.

“It was important to see us keep playing. I said in the changing rooms that Aneurin’s intercept was probably the most positive play we made.

“That’s where we’ve got to be and that’s where those youngsters have got to be.”

Ryan used the Scarlets game to place young stars around more senior professionals and was pleased with the mix and the way the academy aces grabbed the opportunity.

Their development was helped by playing alongside the likes of Wainwright, Holmes and Ross Moriarty who are all Wales Test caps and were exceptional against the Scarlets.

“What we set out for the Rainbow Cup is that quality senior performances will create real positive development experiences for the youngsters,” said Ryan.

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“That’s what we challenged the senior players to do. It’s not a positive experience if they don’t come in and be a role model about what it looks like to be at the top.

“Senior players will play and we expect them to play at a level their status warrants – that is then a really positive experience for a youngster to see.”


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