THE Dragons started life under Dean Ryan with a heavy loss at Munster. Here are the talking points from the Guinness PRO14 fixture


Few expected the Dragons to get anything from a trip to Munster, apart from Premier Sports pundit Martyn Williams who tipped a shock away win.

The success of the season will be shaped by how Dean Ryan’s men fare against their peers and the upcoming clashes against Zebre (away) and Connacht (home) will provide more of an insight.

There were some good aspects from the opener but on the whole it was an underwhelming affair and after Munster’s first try there was never the feeling that the Dragons would get anything from Thomond Park.

Ryan is building for the long-term, but hopefully we will see more snap in Parma next weekend. That fixture will be a true guide of how Ryan's team is shaping up.


The Dragons dazzled with ball in hand against the Scarlets in pre-season but the Limerick drizzle meant that was never going to be likely.

There was understandably more kicking, especially in the first half when they had the wind at their backs, and it wasn’t an afternoon when the back three was set in motion.

The Dragons have invested in a giant inflatable tent for their Ystrad Mynach training base to allow them to work on their skills when it is hammering down but there are no roofs in the PRO14.

It’s a winter sport and it usually rains on matchday in Newport, so the Dragons have to adapt.

Against other teams that first half tactic would probably have earned more than nine points.


Munster were ruthless when Richard Hibbard was yellow-carded for a high tackle on the half hour, scoring two tries in the hooker’s absence.

The Dragons, meanwhile, failed to make their numerical advantage count when Mike Haley was sent to the sin bin for a similar offence.

The two sin bin spells either side of half-time didn’t decide the game but they helped shape it to ensure it was a comfortable success for the hosts.


The weather ensured it wasn’t an afternoon for Wales Sevens international Owen Jenkins to dazzle with ball in hand but the winger had a steady Dragons debut.

After being brought in for the Celtic Cup, the former Cardiff Blues speedster has rapidly climbed the pecking order and this is a golden chance.

The Dragons aren’t blessed with depth in the back three – there are plenty of prospects coming through the academy but they aren’t ready – so Jenkins could very well be sticking with 15-a-side this season rather than heading back on the World Series circuit.