Dragons go back to basics
GLASGOW v DRAGONS (Tonight, KO 7.30)
CAPTAIN Lewis Evans has admitted Newport Gwent Dragons have gone back to basics in a bid to snap out of their slump.
The Rodney Parade region will attempt to end a four-game losing streak when they take on in-form Glasgow this evening.
The Scottish side, who made the playoffs last season, sit third in the RaboDirect Pro12 table and are now chasing their sixth successive league victory.
The Dragons are at the other end of the table and have had a physical week of training following last Friday’s disheartening 46-19 home thumping at the hands of leaders Ulster.
And if they are to upset the form book at Scotstoun then it will be with no-frills rugby.
“We are just going to try and keep it simple and be as direct as possible,” said Evans, who returns at blindside flanker after missing the Ulster debacle with a groin injury.
“It would be nice to get the ball out wide for our strike runners but it’s all about creating that little bit of space for them – the cliché of earning the right to go wide.
“Rather than coming up with some fancy move it’s just got to be blunt, direct and simple.
“As forwards we understand the frustration that the backs are feeling; (outside centre) Adam Hughes said that he has only touched the ball in free motion seven times in three games.
“There has been a bit of confusion in our general attacking play, we’ve been trying to play when it’s not on and kicking when it is.
“We need to unleash these guys and it’s not rocket science: the aim has to be to win quick ball, put Glasgow on the back foot, make them commit more numbers in tight and free up space for our runners.
“This week we’ve gone back to basics and we have to toughen up physically and mentally. We have a simple game plan and now it’s up to us to stick to it.”
Glasgow are in great form in the Pro12 but are hit hard by Scotland call-ups, with 13 members of their squad on international duty this week.
Evans insists that the Dragons, who have only lost Toby Faletau to Wales, will not be thrown off guard by an unfamiliar Warriors side.
“To be honest it’s another cliché of concentrating on ourselves,” said the flanker.
“Tightening up our defence and improving at the contact area has been our aim and rather than being specific with Glasgow.
“It’s going to be a tough game regardless of who they have lost to Scotland and there has been a big emphasis on training hard this week.
“The rationale is to toughen us up and we’ve needed it to prepare for a dogged fight.”