BOSS Dean Ryan admits that his Dragons squad are finding it “too fast and too physical” without being fully-loaded.
The Rodney Parade side have lost six of seven United Rugby Championship games and head into a French double-header in the Challenge Cup on the back of a pair of poor displays.
They were beaten 30-14 in Newport by Edinburgh on the return from the November break and on Saturday night were given a five-try, 33-14 hammering by Glasgow.
“I don’t think effort was something that was up for question but we were well beaten, and well beaten in the first half hour of the game again,” admitted director of rugby Ryan.
“It was a challenge for us to stay together in that second half because we could have imploded trying to get back into it.
“As always, we have got to try and support this group because the current resources that we have got at the Dragons, and the strategy that gives us those resources, means that we have got to put some guys out there that are right up against it. My job is to keep things stable and keep supporting them.”
The Dragons are currently without Wales forwards Ross Moriarty (shoulder) and Elliot Dee (ankle) while they were without frontline scrum-halves Gonzalo Bertranou and Rhodri Williams in Glasgow because of niggles.
Young international forwards Taine Basham and Ben Carter were given the week off after their autumn Test efforts while full-back Jordan Williams joined fellow speedster Ashton Hewitt on the injured list with a broken hand in the first half.
The Scotstoun showing once again highlighted the Dragons’ lack of depth in several positions.
“I don’t think that we were close at Glasgow, we were so under pressure that we made mistakes,” said Ryan.
“It was the second week in a row that it was too fast and too physical for us.
“There are some guys that are putting in big shifts trying to stop it but as a collective we are not achieving that.”
The Dragons don’t have long to lick their wounds and face a trip to Perpignan on Saturday followed by a home encounter with Lyon to kick off the Challenge Cup.
“It goes into another competition and that could breathe a little bit of fresh air into us,” said Ryan.
“We can’t hide away from it and, with the current resources we have got, we are struggling to cope with this level of game.
“At the start of the season when we had everybody on deck [we were coping] but we are finding it difficult now we have lost a few and have got some injuries.”
The European games are followed by the three festive derbies against the Ospreys, Cardiff and Scarlets in the URC.