Dragons are getting their kicks out of in-form Jason Tovey
A COMMON post-match theme of 2012/13 was captain Lewis Evans bemoaning a lack of control by an inexperienced Newport Gwent Dragons side.
Thankfully his successor Andrew Coombs isn't suffering the same fate after leading the region to three Rodney Parade victories on the spin.
Evans was not pointing the finger at teammates last season, it was just that the Dragons were hindered by being a bit wet behind the ears in the half-backs.
That was tackled over the summer with the recruitment of scrum-half Richie Rees and fly-halves Jason Tovey and Kris Burton.
Rees and Tovey were given the nod in the season opener and grasped their opportunity, forming a fine partnership in four of the Dragons' five RaboDirect Pro12 games.
They have manoeuvred the region around the paddock and Tovey has kicked his goals – his perfect six from six helped the Dragons to a 30-7 against Zebre and moved him to joint fourth in the league points chart with 42.
The Dragons may have been pushing for a bonus point at the death but it was the left-footer's unerring kicking that put them in a winning position.
The 24-year-old, who returned to Rodney Parade after an ill-fated season with Cardiff Blues, struck three first-half penalties to put the host on their way.
"Tovey has been huge in every win that we have had," said Coombs. "He has kicked his goals and it's so important to have somebody in the 10 shirt giving us direction.
"We identified early on that Zebre seemed willing to give us penalties and you can't do that against a side that has a goalkicker like Jason Tovey.
"We didn't chase the tries early on, we went for goal and I think that it worked for us."
Wales lock Coombs declared himself pleased with the Dragons' start to the season but admitted to being slightly troubled by a pair of narrow failures.
"We are disappointed that we didn't pick up a win in Edinburgh (in round two) and we are disappointed that we didn't get a bonus point against Zebre," he said.
"But we fought hard and Zebre are a tough side, they've proved that in every game that they have played and their win in Cardiff (30-25 at the Arms Park) sent a message to us that they mean business.
"It was a tough win and I was impressed with how our set piece went. It was nice to get on the front foot and there were good calls (at the lineout) from Robert Sidoli."
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