Heineken Cup: Turner counts the cost of defeat

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The Independent Online

However, he admitted that the buck stopped with him after his team went down 24-15. The Dragons fans among a Rodney Parade audience of only 3,837 booed their side off the pitch as Parma danced around in delight.

It will be the first time since the debut season of the Heineken Cup that Wales have not had at least four sides in the competition, with the Dragons now going into the European Challenge Cup tournament that carries far fewer money-making fixtures for a Welsh region where cash has been tight all season.

Although the Dragons outscored their opponents by three tries to two, they were undone by the boots of outside-half Francesco Mazzariol and centre Ezio Galon.

Turner said: "It was a game we should have won. We dropped so much ball and the game was summed up when we were in front in the first half and we should have scored but they scored down the other end.

"It would have been nice, but we are now in a much improved Challenge Cup competition. Maybe that's where we are with our development.

"We were on the ropes today. We knew that before the game, although there are people who came away disappointed. I've had a talk with the boys in the changing room and there was no shouting. There were players out there who were stuck together with tape and they just about made it. We have been on the ropes for the last couple of weeks, and it showed.

"But nobody has died and the world does not end. We have signed five or six players and we are imminently signing another four or five.

"We were a win or two away from where we wanted to be at the end of the season and it has been tough to get players on the field. Now we have just got to get on with things."