6:02am Friday 13th September 2013
NEWPORT Gwent Dragons head to Edinburgh this weekend looking to maintain their stingy streak, writes Chris Kirwan.
Last season the Dragons shipped 589 points – an average of 27 per game – to have the RaboDirect Pro12's worst defensive record.
But the region produced a sterling effort last Friday to limit Ulster to eight points – the lowest total on the opening weekend of the league.
Keeping Edinburgh down to single digits will be a tough ask, especially with Scotland finishers Tim Visser and Nikki Walker lurking on the wings.
"They have a few dangerous runners and we will have to be on our toes out wide," said fly-half Jason Tovey.
"(Outside centre) Pat Leach is a our main leader in defence, he's a bright boy and I think he will be able to read it. If you can stop them going out wide then you are always in with a chance."
Edinburgh went down 34-23 to Munster in Cork last weekend but showed encouraging signs in the second half.
They were 22-6 behind at the break but fought back to give themselves a sniff of a losing bonus point, showing character that delighted new coach Alan Solomons.
The Dragons will be looking to stall that progress with Tovey again charged with pulling the strings.
The 24-year-old became the leading points scorer in the region's brief history against Ulster and, with director of rugby Lyn Jones reluctant to change his half-backs in a tight encounter, played the entire game.
"It's always nice to have 80 minutes, even when you are blowing," said Tovey. "It's nice to be on the field at the end and I am glad Lyn had the faith in me and Richie Rees to see it through.
"Lyn will pick on performances and how boys are going in training. I am lucky enough to have had the starts so far.
"It's always nice to have the opportunities but you have to then go out and prove that you are worthy of them."
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