Dragons relishing Rodney Parade return after Ospreys horror show
9:01am Tuesday 29th October 2013 in Sport
NEWPORT Gwent Dragons aim to maintain their Jekyll and Hyde season when they host Leinster in the RaboDirect Pro12 on Friday (kick-off 7.05pm), writes Chris Kirwan.
The region have been excellent at Rodney Parade this season with a perfect four victories against Ulster, the Scarlets, Zebre and Mogliano packing.
But they have been awful on the road, toppled by Edinburgh, Munster, Bath and the Ospreys.
After a disastrous 2012/13 it has still been a promising start to the campaign with the Dragons sitting sixth in the table and above the Scarlets and Cardiff Blues.
But a good response is needed after last weekend's 40-17 hammering at the hands of the Ospreys, although that won't be easy against a Leinster side who have won all six meetings with the Dragons since a December 2009 loss in Newport.
"It will be nice to get back to Rodney Parade," said flanker Lewis Evans. "We want to keep it a fortress against one of the top Irish sides.
"It'll be interesting to see what team is picked after the Ospreys performance but our home form has been good and our mentality is obviously different.
"We look forward to Leinster and we need to fly into them, not be afraid of them.
"It was a tough day at the office against the Ospreys and we need to take a long, hard look at ourselves in the mirror.
"But when all 15 of us are on the same song sheet we are a good team – we have proven that by beating some quality sides this year."
Skipper Andrew Coombs, the Dragons' man of the match by a country mile at the Liberty Stadium, admitted to being frustrated that he will not be able to work towards putting things right.
Instead of grafting on the cabbage patch at Rodney Parade he will be at Wales' training base in the Vale of Glamorgan, trying to earn a spot in the matchday squad to face South Africa on November 9.
"I'd like to be involved this week after the Ospreys disappointment but I've got the opportunity to fight for a Wales place in the autumn series," said Coombs.
"We need to learn our lessons away from home; the boys are working hard and it's not down to lack of work rate or fitness, it's just game management and learning to win.
"We are disappointed but will be confident at Rodney Parade because we've been pretty good at home – unlike away games we come out to play in the second half."
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