Ospreys silence the Dragons

Date published: January 12 2015

Dan Biggar kicked 17 points as the Ospreys toughed out a Welsh derby win over the Dragons in Swansea, triumphing 22-11.

In a tight first half, Tyler Ardron’s try and the accurate boot of Biggar gave the hosts a 13-6 advantage at the interval.

Newport, despite suffering a disappointing season, were competitive in the opening period and were rewarded by two Tom Prydie penalties.

But three further Biggar efforts off the tee took the win out of the Dragons’ reach, even though Richie Rees’ touchdown had given them hope.

Steve Tandy’s men opened the campaign impressively, winning their first seven games, but three defeats in the past five Pro12 matches had seen their progress halted.

Against a team expected to reside in the bottom half of the table at the end of the season, the head coach needed a response from their loss to the Scarlets last time out.

However, the Ospreys were unconvincing in the first half and Prydie started the scoring for Newport with a penalty after four minutes.

Biggar levelled matters for the home side before Dan Lydiate reminded his former employers of his ability with a barrelling run. That set-up the position for the powerful Canadian number eight Ardron to power over from close range and give Tandy’s team a 10-3 lead.

The respective kickers then traded penalties as the Swansea-based outfit went into the interval 13-6 in front.

It wasn’t long before that was extended in the second period as the Ospreys’ stand-off added his third three-pointer.

Tandy’s men were now starting to get on top up front as Biggar’s fourth successful penalty attempt took them 13 points clear and Brok Harris’ yellow card left the Dragons a man down.

However, Scott Baldwin was sent to the sin bin as the hosts were also forced to play for 10 minutes with 14 players.

That extra space on the field allowed Newport to build an incisive attack and Rees touched down to deservedly get them back into the encounter, but a late Biggar penalty ended the match as a contest.

The scorers:

For Ospreys:
Try: Ardron
Con: Biggar
Pens: Biggar 5
Yellow Card: Baldwin

For Dragons:
Try: Rees
Pens: Prydie 2
Yellow Card: Harris

Ospreys: 15 Dan Evans, 14 Richard Fussell, 13 Ashley Beck, 12 Josh Matavesi, 11 Eli Walker, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Tyler Aldron, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (c), 4 James King, 3 Dmitri Arhip, 2 Sam Parry, 1 Duncan Jones
Replacements: 16 Scott Baldwin, 17 Gareth Thomas, 18 Aaron Jarvis, 19 Rynier Bernardo, 20 Sam Lewis, 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Sam Davies, 23 Hanno Dirksen

Dragons: 15 Tom Prydie, 14 Matthew Pewtner, 13 Tyler Morgan, 12 Jack Dixon, 11 Hallam Amos, 10 Jason Tovey, 9 Jonathan Evans, 8 Taulupe Faletau. 7 Nic Cudd, 6 Lewis Evans, 5 Rynard Landman (c), 4 Andrew Coombs, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Elliot Dee, 1 Phil Price
Replacements: 16 Rhys Buckley, 17 Owen Evans, 18 Lloyd Fairbrother, 19 Matthew Screech, 20 James Thomas, 21 Richie Rees, 22 Dorian Jones, 23 Geraint Rhys Jones

Referee: Dudley Phillips (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Nigel Owens (Wales), Martyn Lewis (Wales)
TMO: Gareth Simmonds (Wales)