Plenty more to come from Dragons' scrum, declares Kingsley Jones
8:00am Tuesday 17th September 2013 in Sport
FORWARDS coach Kingsley Jones has come to the defence of Newport Gwent Dragons struggling scrum, declaring that it’s a matter of time before they click at the set piece.
The region suffered a 16-13 defeat to Edinburgh at Murrayfield last Friday after conceding a penalty at the death.
They were marched backwards in the scrum, allowing home fly-half Harry Leonard to take the spoils for the Scots.
The Dragons’ set piece was under pressure all evening, just like it had been against Bath in pre-season and against Ulster on opening weekend.
And with the lineout being a bit hit and miss, the Dragons’ set piece struggles are preventing their attack from firing.
But Jones has asked for patience and believes given time his charges will soon be holding their own.
“Our scrum is developing and it’s going to improve by 50 per cent,” he said. “The more games we play, the better we will get.
“We are suffering from only having one pre-season friendly, especially with the new (engagement) laws, and we are still looking for the best way to do things and which personnel to start and finish with.
“There are a lot of new players coming together and those units will improve with time out on the field.
“We are a long way from where we want to be and our challenge is to keep improving and developing week on week.”
Hooker Rhys Thomas believes the Dragons are suffering from playing by the book at scrum time.
“I think we are being a bit too honest,” he said. “Teams are being a lot more streetwise than us and we need to look at that.
“There was still a great chance to get out of jail at the end but as a pack, and especially as a front row, we didn’t rise to the challenge.”
On the whole Jones was pleased with the performance at Murrayfield and believes the signs are encouraging as they prepare for the visit of the Scarlets.
He said: “The players put a lot in and probably deserved a draw. In a few weeks time we will probably win games like that.
“The squad deserve a lot of credit for their attitude and belief and it’s important that we build on that against the Scarlets.
“The second half performance after Edinburgh went 13-3 up was excellent and now we need to respond to the late disappointment in what is a big derby.
“Our fans were brilliant against Ulster and I look forward to us putting in another big performance for them.”
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