Sport Rugby

Wednesday 7 December 2016

Foley wary of Dragons' potential

John Fallon

Published 15/05/2015 | 02:30

12 May 2015; Munster's Keith Earls practices his catching alongside team-mate Darren Sweetnam during squad training. Irish Independent Park, Cork. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE
12 May 2015; Munster's Keith Earls practices his catching alongside team-mate Darren Sweetnam during squad training. Irish Independent Park, Cork. Picture credit: Diarmuid Greene / SPORTSFILE

It is over 11 years since Dragons achieved their only win on Munster soil but coach Anthony Foley has warned his men to take nothing for granted against the Newport side.

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Dragons can't improve on their ninth-place finish but Foley fears that they could just cut loose in their final match of a season which saw them come close to European glory for the first time in their history.

Dragons went on a good run in the Challenge Cup which eventually ended at the semi-final stage when they were defeated by Edinburgh.

Foley said that Dragons are capable of beating any side in the league and his men will show them the same respect as any team when they clash tomorrow at Irish Independent Park.

"They've beaten a lot of sides. They've had home and away wins against Leinster. They're a very hard side to dominate. They're a very hard side to break down.

"They have a lot of top-quality players and they cause teams a lot of problems and they're growing a good young culture there and they're very well-coached.

"They are very good rugby players and it's important that we respect that and we go about our job properly," said Foley. Dragons' only win away to Munster came at Thomond Park back in 2004.

Their only win over Munster in their last eight meetings came at Rodney Parade two years ago, but they have won three of their four meetings with Irish provinces since the start of this year.

But Munster's record in Cork is excellent and they go into tomorrow's match with nine successive victories at the venue since they lost to Cardiff in January 2013.

Munster go into tomorrow's clash having scored more tries than any other side in the league so far this season with 60 touchdowns and they have also conceded fewer than any other side, with just 29 scored against them.

But the key thing tomorrow will be whether they are ahead of two of the other sides in the top four come 5pm - and Foley is confident they have the fire in their bellies to achieve that and book one of the treasured home semi-finals.

After all, all ten semi-finals so far have been won by the home sides since the system was introduced, so Foley is in no doubt what's at stake.

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Bonus point this weekend is vital to earn a home semi-final

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Irish Independent

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