Lyn Jones gives his Dragons both barrels
9:01am Monday 28th October 2013 in Sport
NEWPORT Gwent Dragons start preparations for Leinster today with their boss' stinging criticism ringing in their ears, writes Chris Kirwan.
Director of rugby Lyn Jones issued a damning appraisal of his team's performance in last Friday's 40-17 loss to the Ospreys.
He declared that his charges tackled "like a Division One side" at the Liberty Stadium and that their display was unacceptable for a regional side.
It is the first time that Jones, who arrived from London Welsh this summer, has given his new team both barrels; this time there was no post-match talk about the good in their game or their inexperience.
He will be expecting much, much better when the Dragons welcome Leinster to Rodney Parade on Friday evening.
"We weren't good enough against the Ospreys," said Jones. "Lots of players were giving everything they had and sadly other boys were missing tackles like a Division One side.
"Some performances just weren't up to regional standard.
"We didn't kick very intelligently, which gave the Ospreys the field position and possession to affect the game.
"And you can't defend for 80 per cent of the game because you are going to get tired, so when you have the ball you must hold onto it and play. We just couldn't do that."
The Dragons have made a promising start to the season to sit in sixth place in the RaboDirect Pro12, an improvement on a horror 2012/13 when they finished one from bottom.
They have beaten Ulster, the Scarlets, Zebre and Mogliano at Rodney Parade but have lost to Edinburgh, Munster, Bath and the Ospreys on the road.
However, Jones isn't prepared to brush off the latest setback as just another case of travel sickness.
"We are not putting our heads in the sand and pretending this was a one-night stand," he said.
"The Ospreys game was a watershed for us and a measurement for a lot of players.
"Newport Gwent Dragons are a showing signs of ambition, I want this club to move forward and I want players to take the opportunities to show me and everybody that they are the ones to do that.
"That was not a performance for a regional side in Wales. Simple as that."
- Jones confirmed the Dragons have made an approach to Moseley for the services of former Wales Under-20s captain Cory Hill.
The ex-Cardiff Blues lock featured for the West Midlanders in their 28-17 English Championship defeat to Leeds on Saturday.
If Hill opts to move back to Wales then the Dragons will need to pay Moseley compensation.