Jones: Dragons can benefit from Challenge Cup heartbreak


Kingsley Jones has urged Newport Gwent Dragons to use the heartache of Saturday's European Challenge Cup semi-final loss as fuel for future success.

For the second season running the Dragons fell at the last-four stage, succumbing to a 22-12 loss at Top 14 high-flyers Montpellier.

Jones conceded the result was painful, but he believes it could be a catalyst for his young side, who he wants to see fare better in the group phase next time around.

"That's two years in a row that we have had to play an away semi-final, so the biggest thing we learned is that we need to finish better in the pool stages," he said.

"You have to do well in your pool to make the knock-out stages easier. But I can't fault anyone's effort - a lot of young fellows grew up a lot and some of the senior players really stepped up.

"We kept on battling. We're all disappointed to lose, there has been a lot of work that has gone into this European campaign, a lot of blood, sweat and tears, but we'll learn from it.

"For the young guys - the likes of Tyler Morgan and Hallam Amos - coming to Montpellier and playing against these superstar internationals from France and South Africa is only going to benefit us in the long term.

"The one thing that we will be taking from this game is that it showed we were capable of playing with the big boys."