Planet Rugby

Ospreys stumble at Rodney Parade

06th January 2012 20:57

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Lewis Robling Dragons 2011

Crucial try: Lewis Robling

Dragons resisted a late comeback from Ospreys to clinch a much-needed 21-20 Pro12 victory at Rodney Parade on Friday.

The Dragons beat Welsh opposition for the first time this season as they held on for victory in an entertaining game.

With this being the last round of RaboDirect PRO12 matches before the start of the Six Nations, a host of players were hoping to make the Welsh selectors sit up and take notice.

Dragons did not look like a side who had not won in their previous six outings when Jason Tovey's penalty opened the scoring after 8 minutes.

The Ospreys' poor start was compounded when second-row Ian Evans was sin-binned by referee James Jones for a professional foul. Tovey added another penalty to give the home side a 6-0 lead.

Matthew Morgan's penalty for a scrum offence by the Dragons reduced the deficit to 6-3.

The latter stages of the half were frantic as Morgan and Tovey exchanged penalties, whilst Dragons' winger Tonderai Chavhanga was then yellow carded for deliberately slapping the ball down.

Just seconds later, Ospreys flank Tom Smith was sent to the bin for a ruck infringement on the stroke of half-time.

A successful Morgan penalty in the early stages of the second half levelled the scores 9-9.

Two tries in quick succession from Martyn Thomas and replacement Lewis Robling gave the Dragons a deserved 21-9 lead.

Morgan's fourth penalty of the night took the score to 21-12. Replacement fly-half Dan Biggar's penalty propelled the Ospreys within a converted try of the Dragons.

The Swansea side then showed their class by scoring from first-phase possession when replacement Tommy Bowe crashed over. Biggar was unable to give the visitors the lead for the first time in the match when he missed his conversion.

Biggar was again in the spotlight when his missed drop-goal in the dying moments of the game gave the Dragons a much-needed win.

The scorers:

For Dragons:
Tries: Thomas, Robling
Cons: Tovey
Pens: Tovey 3

For Ospreys:
Try: Bowe
Pens: Morgan 4, Biggar

Yellow cards: Evans ( Ospreys - 12th min); Chavhanga (Dragons - 39th min); Smith ( Ospreys - 40th min)

Newport Gwent Dragons: 15 Martyn Thomas, 14 Will Harries, 13 Aled Brew, 12 Ashley Smith, 11 Tonderai Chavhanga, 10 Jason Tovey, 9 Wayne Evans, 8 Toby Faletau, 7 Lewis Evans, 6 Danny Lydiate (c), 5 Rob Sidoli, 4 Adam Jones, 3 Nathan Buck, 2 Steve Jones, 1 Nathan Williams.
Replacements: 16 Rhys Buckley, 17 Phil Price, 18 Dan Way, 19 Jevon Groves, 20 Darren Waters, 21 Joe Bedford, 22 Lewis Robling, 23 Matthew Jones.

Ospreys: 15 Barry Davies, 14 Eli Walker, 13 Tom Isaacs, 12 Ashley Beck, 11 Hanno Dirksen, 10 Matthew Morgan, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Joe Bearman, 7 Justin Tipuric (c), 6 Tom Smith, 5 Ian Evans, 4 Ryan Jones, 3 Aaron Jarvis, 2 Huw Bennett, 1 Duncan Jones.
Replacements: 16 Richard Hibbard, 17 Paul James, 18 Adam Jones, 19 Jonathan Thomas, 20 George Stowers, 21 Kahn Fotuali'i, 22 Dan Biggar, 23 Tommy Bowe.

Venue: Rodney Parade
Referee: James Jones
Assistant referees: Gwyn Morris, Wayne Davies
TMO: Gareth Simmonds

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