Ospreys win dire derby

Date published: January 1 2017

Ospreys started the new year with a hard-fought 10-0 PRO12 victory over the Dragons in terrible conditions at Rodney Parade on Sunday.

Justin Tipuric went over early in the first-half for the only try in Newport, with Ospreys ending the Dragons' five-match winning home run.

In an opening where neither side could get a firm control of the game, Tipuric was able to sneak through the Dragons defence to put Ospreys into a lead on 11 minutes.

A counter-attack led by Tom Habberfield, with an offload to Cracknell allowing him to draw the attention of the defence and feed to Tipuric for the opener.

The conversion followed before Habberfield was thrown right back into the thick of the action. Tavis Knoyle's attempt to break was halted as the number nine slapped the ball out of his hands, ensuring he was put into the sin-bin.

Dragons couldn't capitalise though, as the kicking nature of the game continued with neither side overly impressive on the ground.

The second-half was far from a classic too, as the weather helped to ensure it wasn't a game that would go down in folklore.

A rare Ospreys attack early in the second half had them towards the try-line, but firm defending backed them away as Dragons looked to work their way back into the game.

Angus O'Brien had a rare effort at the posts midway through the half, but the 40 metres proved too far as the chance disappeared into the night sky.

Dan Biggar capitalised on that miss for Ospreys, kicking a three pointer through to drag Ospreys onto double figures in a half that failed to produce many moments of excitement.

The hosts thought they had got themselves over late on as Pat Howard managed to ground over the line, but his fumble in the build-up made the celebrations last shorter than they should have.

The hosts were throwing everything at the Ospreys defence in the final moments, but it was ultimately too late to change the fortunes around as Ospreys left with a win.

The scorers:

For Ospreys:
Try: Tipuric
Con: Biggar
Pen: Biggar

Dragons: 15 Carl Meyer, 14 Pat Howard, 13 Tyler Morgan, 12 Sam Beard, 11 Ashton Hewitt, 10 Angus O'Brien, 9 Tavis Knoyle, 8 Ed Jackson, 7 Ollie Griffiths, 6 Lewis Evans (c), 5 Cory Hill, 4 Nick Crosswell, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Elliot Dee, 1 Phil Price
Replacements: 16 Rhys Buckley, 17 Sam Hobbs, 18 Lloyd Fairbrother, 19 Matthew Screech, 20 Rynard Landman, 21 Sarel Pretorius, 22 Dorian Jones, 23 Adam Warren

Ospreys: 15 Sam Davies, 14 Dafydd Howells, 13 Kieron Fonotia, 12 Josh Matavesi, 11 Dan Evans, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Tom Habberfield, 8 James King, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Olly Cracknell, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (c), 4 Lloyd Ashley, 3 Ma’afu Fia, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Paul James
Replacements: 16 Sam Parry, 17 Nicky Smith, 18 Rhodri Jones, 19 Rory Thornton, 20 Rob McCusker, 21 Sam Underhill, 22 Brendon Leonard, 23 Hanno Dirksen

Referee: Ian Davies (WRU)
Assistant Referees: Simon Rees, Gwyn Morris (both WRU)
TMO: Neil Hennessy (WRU)