Newport Gwent Dragons: Pat Howard calls for support not negativity from fans

Pat Howard scores a try against Ulster on his Pro12 debut for Newport Gwent Dragons
Pat Howard has scored on both his Pro12 starts for Dragons this season

Pat Howard has called on Newport Gwent Dragons fans to get behind the team following their negative reaction to the scrappy 11-6 win over Zebre.

The 24-year-old South African wing scored Dragons' only try against the Italian team, who had conceded eight against Ospreys a week earlier.

"A win's a win and any fan base should be happy with that," said Howard.

"We would like the supporters just to support us and not scrutinise everything we do."

Dragons face a much tougher test in their next Pro12 game when Munster visit Rodney Parade on Saturday, 17 September.

Howard, who joined the Welsh region from Northampton in the summer, spent three months with the Irish province in the 2014-15 season, making his debut at Rodney Parade.

He said the win over Zebre was more important than the quality of the performance.

"I understand that people have their opinions but at the end of the day it was four points - that's what we needed, that's what we were going for however it came about," he added.

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Pro12 highlights: Newport Gwent Dragons 11-6 Zebre

"Every team makes mistakes and it's our responsibility to put it right and we're going to do that the best we can but we need the support instead of the scrutiny.

"It brings a lot of negativity.

"You want positive energy from the crowd. It spurs you on and makes you do better - makes you want to drive over the line and score that try, but when they're doing that it's a sapping kind of thing.

"We're going to need the support (against Munster) because you feel like you're under pressure not only from the other team but from the crowd for all your decisions."

Dragons finished third from bottom in the 2015-16 season - with only Zebre and fellow-Italian side Benetton Treviso below them.

Coach Kingsley Jones conceded the performance against Zebre was unimpressive - coming a week after a 29-8 defeat by Ulster.

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