DEAN Ryan believes the Dragons' stunning win at Zebre can be a launching pad after the relief of ending an embarrassing Guinness PRO14 away streak that was weighing heavy on shoulders.

The Rodney Parade region ended their hoodoo in style by hammering the Italians 52-28 in Parma thanks to a penalty try and scores by scrum-half Rhodri Williams, wing Owen Jenkins (2), full-back Jordan Williams, flanker Taine Basham and number eight Harri Keddie.

It was a first win on the road since the triumph against Treviso in March, 2015 – ending the embarrassing streak of 44 losses and one draw.

The Dragons players and management have frequently said that they don't talk about the record but Ryan admitted that it was no ordinary win and hopes it will release the pressure.

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"It is a result that means a huge amount to the people who have been involved for the last three or four years," said the director of rugby.

"I'm delighted for all the staff at Rodney Parade, the coaching staff who have been here over that period, the players and, very importantly, our supporters.

"I'm also really pleased for players like Lewis Evans who have been here for those four years.

"It's a relief to get it done. We talk about the future, but the past was definitely a pressure on us.

"We will get better and must remember that is only two games together in the league. It's just the start."

The Dragons ended up convincing winners in Parma but a few wobbles against a team who finished bottom of last season's PRO14.

A sloppy start saw the Italians go into a 14-0 lead and then wasted chances in the 22 allowed the hosts to strike with the final play of the half to go 21-14 up.

A red card to Zebre winger Charlie Walker, for a pair of yellow offences, gave the Dragons the chance to take command and they didn't waste it.

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After hitting a half-century for the second time in their history, Ryan has demanded they build on their performance on their return to Rodney Parade for Friday's clash with Connacht and the fixture against Glasgow at the end of the month.

"There were times in that game when we lacked confidence, but other times when we looked outstanding," he said.

"It is another performance to build on and every game is an opportunity to get better. I have learnt a lot more about the team in that game and that is important.

"We now look forward to going home. To have two games away from home was very difficult for a side under new management, but we have dealt with it.

"The last time we played at home we produced a good performance against Scarlets in pre-season. With that in mind, we are all looking forward to getting back in front of our own supporters again.

"It has been two games, nothing more than that. We respect the difficult times we have been though, but now we look forward and look to get better again on Friday night."

Connacht head to Newport on the back of a 41-5 thumping of Benetton in Galway.