Ospreys hold on against Dragons

Date published: September 17 2014

The Ospreys did enough to secure an away at Rodney Parade against Newport Gwent Dragons, 17-15 the score in the Pro12.

The Ospreys did enough to secure an away at Rodney Parade against Newport Gwent Dragons, 17-15 the score in the Pro12.

Tries from the two best backs on show in Eli Walker and Rhys Webb and seven points from the boot of Dan Biggar earned the Ospreys only their second win at the ground since 2007.

The first Welsh derby of the season produced a lively game, with both sides intent on keeping the ball alive and changing the point of attack at every opportunity.

That it took 37 minutes for the game's first try was something of a surprise, with play toing and froing from one way and then the other to the delight of a decent-sized and partisan home crowd.

Up until that moment in time, penalties from Jason Tovey and Biggar had been the only points of the evening.

The identity of the first try scorer came from left-field too, electric wing Walker pouncing on Rhys Webb's intelligent kick ahead after the scrum-half had caught the Dragons napping down the blindside. Biggar nailed a brilliant touchline conversion to put the Ospreys 10-3 up at half-time.

Replacement fly-half Angus O'Brien reduced the gap to four points from the kicking tee early in the second half, but the Ospreys bounced straight back when Webb's show-and-go bamboozled the Dragons defence and the scrum-half strolled over from 10 metres out. Biggar provided the extras.

Ospreys dominated the third quarter, with Biggar pulling the strings, but their ill-discipline during the Dragons' rare incursions into enemy territory set up a grandstand finish.

Debutant O'Brien kicked three further penalties to close the gap to two points against an Ospreys side by now reduced to 14 men after referee Nigel Owens had handed Walker a yellow card for illegally taking out Tyler Morgan out in the air.

O'Brien had a chance to be the Dragons' hero two minutes from time, but the 19-year-old's drop goal attempt sailed wide.

The scorers:

For Dragons:
Pens: Tovey, O'Brien 4
Yellow Card: Fairbrother

For Ospreys:
Tries: Walker, Webb
Cons: Biggar 2
Pen: Biggar
Yellow Cards: N.Smith, Walker

Dragons: 15 Lee Byrne (c), 14 Hallam Amos, 13 Tyler Morgan, 12 Jack Dixon, 11 Aled Brew, 10 Jason Tovey, 9 Jonathan Evans, 8 Taulupe Faletau, 7 Nic Cudd, 6 Lewis Evans, 5 Rynard Landman, 4 Ian Gough, 3 Lloyd Fairbrother, 2 Elliot Dee, 1 Boris Stankovich
Replacements: 16 T. Rhys Thomas, 17 Owen Evans, 18 Dan Way, 19 Andrew Coombs, 20 Andy Powell, 21 Richie Rees, 22 Angus O'Brien, 23 Tom Prydie.

Ospreys: 15 Dan Evans, 14 Jeff Hassler, 13 Andrew Bishop, 12 Josh Matavesi, 11 Eli Walker, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Dan Baker, 7 James King, 6 Joe Bearman, 5 Rynier Bernardo, 4 Lloyd Peers (c), 3 Aaron Jarvis, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Nicky Smith
Replacements: 16 Sam Parry, 17 Duncan Jones, 18 Daniel Suter, 19 Tyler Ardron, 20 Morgan Allen, 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Sam Davies, 23 Hanno Dirksen

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)
Assistant Referees: Gwyn Morris (Wales), Dan Jones (Wales)
TMO: Derek Bevan (Wales)