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Dragons can end Ospreys' playoff dreams - captain Coombs

Andrew Coombs

Andrew Coombs (1201030)

First published in Sport

CAPTAIN Andrew Coombs believes Newport Gwent Dragons have the firepower to resurrect their flagging season on Easter Sunday by ending the Ospreys' playoff dreams.

The 29-year-old lock will lead the Rodney Parade region out at the Millennium Stadium (kick-off 4.45pm) after recovering from a knee injury that forced him to sit out last weekend's 45-27 thumping by Treviso.

It is a clash between two sides in contrasting form – the Ospreys, fresh from a win against Leinster, are gunning for the playoffs while the Dragons are trying to halt an alarming slide.

They have had a nightmare 2014 that has yielded just seven points from a possible 40 in the RaboDirect Pro12, a shocking run of form that has seen them slide to 10th in the table with just the Italian pair of Treviso and Zebre beneath them.

It means that most will be heading to the Millennium Stadium expecting to see the Ospreys bag a bonus point win to keep the heat on playoff rivals Glasgow.

Coombs said: "There's no doubt that we are the underdogs and that's disappointing because at the start of the season we had snapped out of that. Instead we've fallen back and we have got that tag again.

"It's tough at the moment, we're on a very bad run and need to snap out of it because we feel that we have improved as a side this season.

"We've got three games left and have to have a crack at all three. It's down to the players to do that, there's nothing that the coaches can do because it is those of us on the field that are responsible for this form.

"Our mistakes are killing us and from 1 to 23 we have to be a hell of a lot better on Sunday but I believe that we can go out there and cause an upset."

Coombs will be slugging it out with Wales teammates Alun Wyn Jones and Ryan Jones in the second row on Sunday but insists that South Africa won't be on his mind.

Coombs said: "It's not about playing for tour places, it's not about where we are playing or the occasion, it's about getting a win that we desperately need.

"That won't be easy because the Ospreys are a quality side that are going for the players, but it's a great opportunity.

"They have the best pack in Wales and will look to put us under pressure but I'd like to think that we have improved up front and it's up to us to prove ourselves."

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