Head Coach Danny Wilson was pleased to get the chance to evaluate the squad at his disposal as Cardiff Blues were edged out 35-28 in an entertaining pre-season derby at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park.
Wilson fielded two different teams in the friendly fixture as he looked at his playing options ahead of the league opener with Italian opposition Zebre on home soil next weekend.
And, despite defeat, the new man at the held at Blues was pleased to see a number of players step up and impress before the Guinness PRO12 explodes back into life.
He said: “We used our squad in this game and I needed to see players perform. Dragons are in a different place to us because they know their squad inside out while I am still learning about ours.
“This is the first time I have seen a number of these players in action. I have got to look at the squad, which today was all about, and I have got to make sure that we look after certain players ahead of next week.
“Certain players needed a half of rugby and no more. We lost three or four players last week so some lads playing a full game would not have been the right way to go.
“Credit to us, we dug in to the end with a young team and the second half side was more inexperienced than the first.
“We will learn the lessons of today, we will be better for it and the result,” he added. “I am learning about us and so far have seen a pre-season and two trial games.
“I will learn even more against Zebre and it’s all about getting better every week. I’m excited about the league opener and I know the players are too.”