Dragons ready for tough test

Guinness PRO12 Editor

29 Sep 2010


Newport Gwent Dragons will not underestimate Benetton Treviso when they visit the Stadio Monigio this Friday.

Treviso have got off to an impressive start in their first year of Magners League rugby and the Dragons won’t be taking them lightly.

The Italian newcomers currently lie in seventh place in the Magners League standings having won two of their first four games.

Those two victories have both come on home soil, against second-placed Scarlets and last year’s beaten finalists Leinster, and the Dragons are expecting a difficult night’s work in Round 5.

“It will be a tough place to go”, said Dragons centre Ashley Smith, who is in line for a place on the bench following a five-month injury lay-off.

“We played there a while ago in Europe and it was a close game then.

“They've done extremely well in the season so far, apart from last weekend when the Blues got a result, but that was close one.

“It's going to be a tough game on Friday night. They've got some big ball carriers and some dangerous runners in the backs.

“Brendan Williams at 15 has good feet and Tobie Botes controls the game from nine. We have to try to stop them.”

Defensive frailties have seen the Dragons concede 12 tries in the first four games and Smith admits that stat needs to change urgently.

The 23-year-old centre says the Dragons have been concentrating hard on that particular aspect of their game and that an improvement will be needed come Friday night.

“Defence is something that we've worked on a lot this week throughout the sessions,” added Smith, who hasn’t featured for the Gwent region since suffering a foot injury in the penultimate match of last season.

“We've looked at what they do and we'll try to nullify that to the best of our ability.

“Hopefully we can come away with a better performance than in the last few weeks.”


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