Dragons fly-half JJ Hanrahan has urged the Welsh side to attack from the start in their EPCR Challenge Cup Round 1 tie against Emirates Lions in Johannesburg on Saturday.

The Irishman doesn’t want a repeat of last weekend’s 34-26 United Rugby Championship loss at DHL Stormers, who opened up a 28-0 lead before Dragons staged a storming fightback.

“You can’t wait to get smacked in the mouth before you react,” said Hanrahan. “We know we can fight back. We know we can stay in games. There is good character in this group, which is a good thing. They care a lot about the club and the team.

“The reality is that rugby’s a physical game and if you don’t meet a team like Stormers on the gain line, stop the ball, stop them getting offloads, you’re chasing all day.

“For us going forward as a club in the league, taking one or two points on the road is a minimum for now, and we have to win our home games. If we can take a couple of scalps on the way, that’d be great.

“But what I’m proud about is that we’re building our performance, our game plan, our week in week out stuff, and we’re trying to see more of it. Stormers was a good learning for us.”