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Turner proud of battling Dragons

Newport Gwent Dragons coach Paul Turner praised his team's effort despite losing 17-3 in the Heineken Cup at defending champions Toulouse.

Jason Tovey scored the Dragons only points with a first-half kick as a fifth defeat of the campaign leaves them bottom of Pool Six. Toulouse skipper Thierry Dusautoir scored twice, either side of Vincent Clerc's 32nd try, but their failure to secure a bonus point has given pool rivals London Wasps a boost in the fight for a place in the quarter-finals.

Dragons coach Paul Turner said: "We probably deserved more than we got for that performance but we have taken a major step forward and done Wasps a massive favour. We can a lot of pride from what we're trying to achieve, albeit in defeat."

He added: "We were disappointed not to show more in attack but in places like this, against one of the best teams in Europe, you have to defend well.

"We spoke before the game about the fear factor in rugby when you come places like Toulouse. If you're unlucky you can be on the wrong end of something bad so I'm really proud of the players' effort.

"It's the closest thing many of our players will get to Test rugby but we produced a really dogged performance.

"We gave them a good run for their money and made them panic at times. We made them look ordinary at times but they have the strength to being on the likes of Florian Fritz and Frederic Michalak off the bench.

"But we also needed to show more composure with the ball after working so hard to get our hands on it. You have to make the most of any chances that come your way and we bombed a couple of opportunities so we're disappointed not to get something out of the game."

Toulouse now face London Wasps at Hugh Wycombe next weekend in what will be a winner-takes-all clash for a place in the last eight, if Wasps can claim at least a point from their game at Edinburgh tomorrow.

Captain Dusautoir said: "We were happy to get the victory but not with the performance. We know there are plenty of things we must improve before we play Wasps. That will be a big game."


From Belfast Telegraph