Unfancied Dragons look to upset the odds again

7:58am Thursday 17th April 2014

NEWPORT Gwent Dragons are slipping under the radar at Judgement Day.

The story of the second game of the RaboDirect Pro12 double-header at the Millennium Stadium is all about the Ospreys' playoff charge.

The west Walians, who thumped the Dragons 40-17 at the Liberty Stadium, head to the capital looking for a five-point haul and few give the Rodney Parade outfit a chance in their 'home' encounter.

They have managed just one league success in 2014 but that sole victory gives some reason for hope – it came when they were unfancied against the Ospreys' playoff rivals Glasgow.

"Sometimes it's good to be the underdog, we've got nothing to lose and can give it everything," said 20-year-old hooker Elliot Dee.

"The Ospreys are battling at the top of the league and we are battling to be the third region but anything can happen on an occasion like this.

"There are no high expectations but we have the chance to come out on top and upset the favourites. We'll give it everything."

Things haven't gone to plan for the Dragons since the turn of the year but Dee's performances have been a silver lining.

Rhys Thomas suffered a hand injury against Ulster in February giving the youngster from Newbridge a chance that he has grasped with both hands.

Dee impressed off the bench against Connacht and started against Zebre, Edinburgh and Treviso, earning the Dragons' man of the match accolade against the Scots.

His efforts mean that he is likely to share matchday duties for the Pro12 run-in with Thomas, who is back for the Millennium Stadium encounter.

"I didn't expect to come back from the Under-20s Six Nations and play so much but it's been a great experience and big learning curve," he said.

"I hope that I have impressed Lyn (Jones, director of rugby) and I'd love to get the chance to play at the Millennium Stadium for the first time.

"It will be a big challenge because the Ospreys have a big scrum, good driving lineout and some physical forwards but we have improved a lot up front recently and are looking forward to testing ourselves against them on a big stage."


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