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Dragons and Scarlets targeting Singha 7s glory after qualification

Dragons and Scarlets targeting Singha 7s glory after qualification

It was a case of so near yet so far for Newport Gwent Dragons last year but Rhys Jones is determined to go one step further this time after the Welsh side booked their spot at the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s final.

Last season was the first time the Welsh regions competed the event and the Dragons found themselves on the wrong end of a 12-5 final match with Gloucester Rugby. 

But they came through the Welsh leg of this year's Singha 7s competition with flying colours to earn the chance to go for gold once again when the final takes place at Twickenham Stoop on August 28.

The day didn't start in ideal fashion for the Dragons at Cardiff Arms Park as they went down 24-19 to Scarlets in their opening match.

However, they soon found their rhythm and wins against Ospreys and host side Cardiff Blues meant they finished top of the pile – much to the delight of Jones.

“Last year going all the way to the final and sadly losing to Gloucester we had high expectations coming into this tournament and we had expectations of doing well,” said Jones.

“They really did the Dragons proud out there. It's a big target for us to one step further because we were gutted that we lost in the final last year.

“We know that the tournament this year is a higher standard so we are going to have to be on the top of our game going into the finals.

“There's going to be a lot of preparation going into those finals now and hopefully we can do better.

“It would be a great honour to win, just playing for the Dragons in this tournament is a great thing and the boys pulling on the jersey are very proud to be playing for Gwent.

“To be the first Welsh team to win the tournament would be a massive honour and is something that we are going to try and do.”

The Dragons will be joined in London by Scarlets who looked like they might top the group until a last-gasp Lloyd Williams try gave Ospreys victory in their final match.

But it mattered little in the end and Scarlets coach Dai Flanagan is confident that his side will show plenty of improvements when they make the trip to England.

“It's an opportunity for us to play against the English players and for the English players to play us and each team will want to get one up on the other,” he said.

“When you step out on that field you want to win and the Welsh regions will go in as underdogs so it's a challenge but it's one we will look forward to.

“I couldn't have asked for more than the players gave today for them to put on a performance like that is something each player can be proud of and I think there is more to come from these boys.”

Final Standings:
1. Newport Gwent Dragons
2. Scarlets
3. Ospreys
4. Cardiff Blues
 
Attendance: 3,558

Tickets for the Singha Premiership Rugby 7s Series are now on sale. For full details see premiershiprugby.com/7s

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