Captain Coombs demands a disciplined Dragons performance
INJURED captain Andrew Coombs has demanded that Newport Gwent Dragons adopt the same blueprint that dealt with Zebre when they welcome Mogliano to Rodney Parade, writes Chris Kirwan.
The Italian minnows head to Newport on Friday evening (kick-off 7.15pm) for the first round of the Amlin Challenge Cup.
It is the second successive season that the teams have been paired together with the Dragons romping to 33-0 and 53-3 wins last December, scoring five tries in boggy conditions at the Stadio Maurizio Quaggia and crossing eight times in the rain at Rodney Parade.
It will be a huge shock if the Dragons fail to start this season's campaign with a five-point haul but captain Coombs, who made his return from a knee injury when the teams met in 2012 before going on to be capped by Wales, doesn't want his teammates to be distracted by thoughts of bonus points.
He wants them to adopt the same hard-nosed approach that got the job done against Zebre last weekend when the Dragons won 30-7.
"Mogliano are tough, well-drilled and won't just come here and lie down," said Coombs, who misses out after suffering an ankle injury last Friday.
"After playing them last year we know that they will be confident and will want to have a go at us.
"We have to challenge them in the same way as we did Zebre, to put them under pressure and force them to be indisciplined and give away penalties.
"We won't just chuck the ball around, we have got to be well-drilled just like we were against Zebre."
Mogliano currently sit at the top of the Italian league with three wins from three, the latest a hard-fought 15-13 success against Calvisano.
They boast 36-year-old former Italy full-back Ezio Galon in their ranks along with former Leicester fly-half Matt Cornwell and South African loose forward/lock Meyer Swanepoel.
- Bath have opted to leave England internationals Kyle Eastmond and Dave Attwood out of their European squad.
Centre Eastmond and lock Attwood are members of England's Elite Performance squad so have to have a set amount of rest each season.
As such Bath have opted to leave them out of the group stages of the Amlin Challenge Cup, although they can call them in for the quarter-finals if the club top Pool Two.
Wales international Gavin Henson has been included by the Rec outfit, who kick off their campaign at Bordeaux-Begles on Saturday evening.
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