Dragons Suffer Crossed Wires As Welsh Regions Find Life Tough

On a weekend when none of the four Welsh regions managed to win, Dragons head coach Dai Flanagan could have done without technology also going against him.

Flanagan saw his team lose 33-10 at home to Leinster but accused the United Rugby Championship of a lack of professionalism after the communication system between the referee and touch judges was found to be faulty.

The Dragons undermined their own cause by having Taine Basham shown a red card for a high tackle on Ross Byrne and both problems left Flanagan unimpressed.

Flanagan revealed: “In the first half, we were in the game and there were no comms between the touch judge and the referee.

“We were hearing the touch judge calling infringements against Leinster that the ref hasn’t given, then we found out at half-time the mics weren’t working. The league needs to be better than that.”

But the Rodney Parade chief also admitted: “We are doing some stuff that is not acceptable. We’re not going to get wins unless we start performing better and eradicate the errors.

“It was very silly from Taine. He wants to be a top-end player, but that wasn’t good enough and top-end players don’t do things like that.

Both the Scarlets and Ospreys were leading with less than five minutes to go against the Emirates Lions and Glasgow Warriors respectively, only to concede late scores.

Between them, the Welsh quartet have won just four out of 16 matches so far this season.

Scarlets head coach Dwayne Peel was particularly frustrated at the 24-23 defeat to the Lions given his team were in front for virtually the entire match.

“We are bitterly disappointed because it was a game we had in the bag,” said the former Wales scrum-half.

“For large parts we were the better side, but we had a few basic fundamental errors and we were not accurate in the last 10 minutes.

“We only have ourselves to blame and it is four points that have gone begging.”

It was the Scarlets’ first home defeat in the league since October 20, 2022.


It looked as though the returning Wales hooker Ryan Elias, on regional duty for the first time since returning from the World Cup in France, had given the Scarlets a winning lead when he converted an expert driving line-out maul 10 minutes from time.

The immaculate Ioan Lloyd added the conversion, and it was then 23-14 to the home side. They looked odds on to hold out until Sanele Nohamba punished an error in the 77th minute with a 30-metre penalty and then Steff Evans had his kick up field charged down by opposite number Richard Kriel.

As for the Ospreys, they went in front with just seven minutes left on the clock through a fifth successful kick from fly-half Jack Walsh, but ended up without even a losing bonus point as a Duncan Weir penalty and a final play converted try from Allan Dell made it 31-23 to Glasgow.

Head coach Toby Booth said: “Sport can be cruel and sometimes you don’t get what you deserve. It’s a tough pill to swallow.

“Glasgow are a very good side, but they didn’t do anything we didn’t expect. For 75 minutes we more than matched that, so we’re not going to thrash ourselves over this loss.

“We just didn’t nail those key moments when we had the chance early on.”


Cardiff Rugby had plentiful opportunities to beat the Vodacom Bulls at the Arms Park on Friday night only for a succession of crucial handling errors to cost them, as they went down 18-12.

However, head coach Matt Sherratt took a lot out of his team’s performance against the new league leaders, saying: “That’s the best we have played this season. I was really proud of the players’ efforts and their intent.

“I have got a blueprint in my mind that is a Cardiff performance, and it looked a lot like that.”