Head Coach Dai Flanagan praised the ‘outstanding’ effort of his Dragons as they battled with Emirates Lions on the return to BKT United Rugby Championship action in South Africa.
The Men of Gwent produced a display packed full of spirit and determination in the altitude of Emirates Airline Park and were rewarded with tries from Sio Tomkinson, James Benjamin and Che Hope.
They narrowly missed out on a losing bonus point in Johannesburg and Flanagan was quick to highlight the work rate of his side.
“The effort was outstanding,” said Flanagan. “You could see the lungs burning with the players. We asked them to stay in the fight and that is what they did.
“We can live with errors, we can get better at that and work on skill set, but the effort was there, even if it was one that eventually got away.
“We’ll look forward to working hard this week and if we keep producing that level of effort we will do well in this league.
“Errors come from pressure, so we must credit the Lions,” he added.
“They forced them and we’ve just got to get better under pressure.
“If we can produce that display every week, then players can walk away with their chests held high and it is on us to correct the errors as we move forward.”
Dragons now make the trip south to Port Elizabeth to face champions the DHL Stormers.
“We’ve got a six-day turnaround now, so it is going to be tough, but it is also an opportunity,” said Flanagan.
“We’ll recover and be diligent and make sure we are ready to go once again.”
You could see the lungs burning with the players... We asked them to stay in the fight and that is what they did...