Challenge Cup: Dragons can go into semi 'on a high' - Davies

Dragons celebrate their win over Blues
Dragons celebrate their win over Blues

Newport Gwent Dragons chief executive Stuart Davies believes they can go to Edinburgh for their European Challenge Cup semi-final "on a high".

Dragons beat Cardiff Blues 25-21 and Edinburgh beat London Irish on Sunday.

"[We've had a] win on the road, a win against Ulster, a humdinger of a game here against the Blues, so that should see us riding a bit of a high for a while, hopefully," said Davies.

The Pro12 rivals' European clash takes place on Friday, 17 April at 19:45 BST.

The selection of Wales and British and Irish Lions number eight Taulupe Faletau on the Dragons bench was a surprise.

But Davies believes their' team-spirit shone through against Blues.

Speaking in the immediate aftermath of their win against Blues, Davies said: "It was interesting - there was a lot of focus on the selection, but I think it was indicative in that there is a great spirit there.

"There's choice there and there's a bit of depth so you throw in the spirit as well and you've got a good mix and we're all very excited about what's happening here."

Victory over their Welsh rivals followed a first Pro12 win in Treviso and beating Ulster.

Gareth Anscombe (L) tackles Jack Dixon (C) as Hallam Amos (R) breaks free
Gareth Anscombe (L) tackles Jack Dixon (C) as Hallam Amos (R) breaks free

Dragons head coach Kingsley Jones said their win was "ugly", adding: "I don't know what it looked like for the neutral.

"We had a lead with 10 minutes to go, but you always had the feeling it could go either way even with an 11-point lead."

Blues coach Dale McIntosh felt some of his side's play was "unacceptable".

McIntosh said Blues had the right attitude throughout, but felt they fell foul of poor officiating when Hallam Amos scored the try that helped Dragons trail just 14-10 at the break.

Blues' Sam Warburton shakes hands with his opposite number James Benjamin after the final whistle
Blues flanker Sam Warburton shakes hands with his opposite number James Benjamin after the final whistle

Blues fly-half Gareth Anscombe's defensive attention was drawn by Dragons centre Jack Dixon and wing Amos exploited the space to score.

"I thought it was a poor call," said McIntosh, who also acknowledged match officiating is "tough".

McIntosh also said Blues did not follow their half-time advice to be "streetwise" after the break.

"And that's unacceptable because instead of exactly what we're going to do at half-time, the players didn't execute it.

"Very good players were making basic errors, which added to their momentum and negated ours."

Speaking after the game Dragons boss Lyn Jones said: "We are immensely proud of the players and the squad and the effort today.

"We told them so before the start of the game that levels and commitment in this competition have been exemplary, from going to Stade Francais and scoring four tries to going to Newcastle and doing the same.

"Today, we were not perhaps at our best - but we still had too much for the Blues."

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