THE Dragons endured a nightmare in Dublin when thrashed 54-10 by Leinster. Here are five things from the Guinness PRO14 encounter.

1: No more trips to Ireland

It’s not a new thing for the Dragons to struggle against all four of the provinces but this season has been particularly grim.

It started badly in September in Belfast with a 52-25 defeat, and remarkably that eight-try hammering proved to be the best scoreline.

Munster in Cork was the worst of the lot – they offered nothing in the 49-6 loss – and the Dragons were just outclassed by Leinster.

Thankfully this season they don’t have to go to Galway for realistically would be another whitewash, even if Connacht is usually the most keenly-contested fixture.

Former Ireland hooker Bernard Jackman will be desperate to ensure the crop of 2018/19 show him in a better light on home soil.

2: Stemming the flow

It was alarming how the Dragons lost their way so quickly after a fine start.

The opening salvo was genuinely impressive, showing good ball retention and patience to dominate possession and territory for a well-deserved 10-0 lead, 10 points that they had to work hard for.

But the Dragons have a soft underbelly on the road and conceded four tries between the 18th and 33rd minute. Even in Newport against the Scarlets in the Anglo-Welsh Cup they allowed their regional rivals to score a quick brace.

The Dragons have to foster more resilience when they suffer the disappointment of a conceded try because against good sides like Leinster the game goes in a flash.

3: Lacking leaders

The Dragons may only have four players in the Wales squad but they feel the loss of Hallam Amos, Cory Hill, Elliot Dee and Leon Brown badly because of their lack of squad depth.

Jackman is looking to tackle that next season by having a busy summer of recruitment – doing a bit of trimming to try and balance the books – but he also needs others to step up when the spine of the team is missing.

Individuals need to stand tall in the absence of players who would easily be in the XV in a similar way to the Leinster squad members like Ross Byrne, who looks some talent, and Fergus McFadden.

Oh, but it also helps having a Test beast like former Wallaby Scott Fardy in the thick of it.

4: Back row punch

The trio of Aaron Wainwright, Ollie Griffiths and James Benjamin all played pretty well but it’s clear why the Dragons are so keen on Ross Moriarty to add a huge ball-carrying presence.

With Harri Keddie sidelined, the region are lacking oomph for the hard yards. Is the balance quite right?

Benjamin is a classy operator and does things that Keddie (or Moriarty for that matter) can’t do but he is an openside playing eight while Griffiths is dynamic but not a heavy runner.

Look at the Leinster squad and they have a glut of players who can go on the rampage – Sean O’Brien, Jamie Heaslip, Josh van der Flier, Jack Conan, Rhys Ruddock, Jordi Murphy. Even prospects Max Deegan and Josh Murphy looked handy.

It’s perhaps unfair to compare them to a Champions Cup contender, but the Dragons only have a few.

5: Youngsters

It was a grim night but let’s end on a positive, a couple of the inexperienced brigade gave it a good crack at one of the toughest venues in the PRO14.

Hooker Ellis Shipp was energetic early on and was solid at the lineout despite a breeze and flanker Aaron Wainwright continues to impress with his work rate and energy.

The duo will be better for the experience, as will Jared Rosser despite being given a tough evening by the vastly experienced Isa Nacewa and exciting talent Jordan Larmour.

Scrum-half Dan Babos was busy when he came on while fly-half Arwel Robson and centre Connor Edwards got late run-outs.

Fingers crossed next season the young talent will be given a fighting chance by those who are more seasoned.