Robert Sidoli: Munster test has kept Dragons grounded

9:00am Thursday 28th November 2013

THE tough task of toppling Munster on Friday has ensured nobody has gone overboard after Newport Gwent Dragons ended their away drought in style, according to stand-in skipper Robert Sidoli.

The region stunned RaboDirect Pro12 title hopefuls Glasgow on their own turf last Friday, their first win away from Rodney Parade since February.

The Warriors had beaten the Dragons 37-6 and 60-3 in 2012/13 and were hot favourites to go to the top of the table with victory.

However, Lyn Jones' side upset the odds to emerge with a 23-8 victory – but it didn't lead to raucous scenes in the away changing room at Scotstoun Stadium.

"It was a good win and a good performance but we didn't get carried away," said lock Sidoli, who is captain while Andrew Coombs is on Wales duty.

"It was great to get that result but we dealt with it very maturely; celebrations were low key and we quickly started to focus on a new team coming to Rodney Parade.

"There is a lot of youth in our team and it was an important and enjoyable win but having Munster around the corner helped ensure that we stayed grounded."

Sidoli, who is cutting his coaching teeth with the Dragons age-grade teams, believes another week of concentration on the training paddock is needed if they are to lower the colours of Munster at Rodney Parade (kick-off 7.15pm).

The Irish province top the table, have lost just once in the league this season and beat the Dragons 23-9 at Musgrave Park in September.

"Glasgow is a tough place to go but we dealt with the conditions and put them under pressure, which turned into points," said the 34-year-old.

"There was a good transfer from training to the pitch and it's important that the same happens against a very good Munster team.

"They are excellent at working out their opposition and the defeat to them (in Cork) is still fresh in our minds. We have to prepare for them in a very clinical way."

Sidoli has formed a second row partnership with Cory Hill in the wins against London Wasps and Glasgow with the 21-year-old making a real impression after signing from Moseley.

There is a fierce battle for starts at lock with Coombs to return from international duty, Matthew Screech looking to build on a mightily impressive start to the campaign and experienced former Wales international Adam Jones also in the mix.

"I've been impressed with how Cory has come in and got up to speed very quickly," said Sidoli, who won 42 caps for Wales.

"With Coomby to come back there is real depth and competition in the second row. We will work hard with each other and for each other to hopefully get the rewards."


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