Dragons RFC coach Matt O’Brien praises ‘outstanding’ pre-season following compelling Scarlets win

Dragons RFC backs coach Matt O’Brien hopes the Newport-based side can continue their pre-season form, following an incredible 31-24 away win over Scarlets.

The men of Gwent concluded their pre-season with two wins in two physical and fitness-testing matches, against both the Ospreys at home in Newport, and the Scarlets in Llanelli

O’Brien, who was promoted to his first senior coaching position by the Dragons prior to the 23/24 season, said that he is impressed by the quality of players in the squad.

“I’ve been blessed with a really good set of players to work with,” the former Fly Half said.

The Dragons named 14 substitutes, with all 29 of the matchday squad receiving game time at the Parc Y Scarlets, giving each member minutes ahead of their opening league match against Edinburgh Rugby in just a couple weeks time.

“I’m really pleased, I think we scored four or five tonight and obviously the more tries we score, the better,” said O’Brien on his new backline’s dangerous attacking prowess.

“We’ve exposed a lot of players to the pre-season games and they’ve transferred the training preparation really well onto the field, there’s a lot of good stuff to take from the two games.

“We’ve scored some lovely tries, but I think what will please us most is that we’re scoring tries from our defence as well, I think we’ve had three interceptions in two games which always helps swing the momentum in the game.

“Friday night in Llanelli, they were outstanding and I’m sure there’ll be a fair few of them down at Rodney Parade for our first league game.

The preparation for this season’s URC Championship has been the longest ever as a result of the ongoing Rugby World Cup in France.

The tournament has delayed the league fixtures and taken away their key international stars such as Aaron Wainwright, Taine Basham, Rio Dyer and Elliot Dee who have all featured for Wales in the tournament, as well as Argentinian international Gonzalo Bertranou who will face his Welsh teammates in the Quarter-Finals of the competition on Saturday (October 14th).

The Dragons will be looking forward to having these players back with them, but are delighted with the current squad they’ve got and the form they’ve shown.

“What’s important now is we continue that winning habit hopefully, we’re back at home at Rodney Parade next which is a great place to play, a great occasion in the first game,” O’Brien added.

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