Ospreys sink Dragons

Date published: October 29 2016

Keelan Giles scored a brace as Ospreys overpowered Newport Dragons 35-17 at Liberty Stadium on Saturday.

Nick Macleod's penalty gave the Dragons an early advantage but Steve Tandy's side responded through Tom Habberfield, Scott Baldwin and Giles tries. 

The wing added another score after the interval as the hosts secured the bonus-point. Brendon Leonard then rubberstamped the win before the visitors' Matthew Screech and Pat Howard went over late on for a couple of consolation efforts. Newport had won just one PRO12 game going into this encounter but they started brightly against the Swansea-based outfit. 

They kept the tempo high, moved the ball through the hands and were rewarded when Macleod bisected the uprights after three minutes. Dmitri Arhip was then sin-binned for leading with a forearm and the away team went in search of a second score. 

However, the Ospreys were excellent during that period, keeping the Dragons pinned back in their own 22 and threatening to respond on the scoreboard. Once Arhip returned, the hosts finally got the try their play deserved as Habberfield scampered across the whitewash. 

Kingsley Jones' men were now under severe pressure but they did well to hold out until the 40th minute when their resistance was finally broken by Baldwin. Tandy's team took that momentum into the second period and, after Josh Matavesi had freed his hands, Giles latched onto the fly-half's offload to touch down. 

The Wales' U20 wing has enjoyed an excellent start to his professional career and he continued his try-scoring streak, taking it to eight in four matches with a second of the afternoon. That effectively secured the win but they weren't finished as Leonard went over from close range. Newport did have the final word following two late tries for Screech and Howard, but they deservedly succumbed to the Swansea side.

The scorers:

For Ospreys:
 Habberfield, Baldwin, Giles 2, Leonard
Cons: Matavesi 5

For Dragons:
Screech, Howard
Cons: Jones 2
Pen: Macleod

Ospreys: 15 Dan Evans, 14 Keelan Giles, 13 Ben John, 12 Ashley Beck, 11 Eli Walker, 10 Josh Matavesi, 9 Tom Habberfield (c), 8 Joe Bearman, 7 Olly Cracknell, 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Adam Beard, 4 Lloyd Ashley, 3 Dmitri Arhip, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Paul James
Replacements: 16 Sam Parry, 17 Gareth Thomas, 18 Ma'afu Fia, 19 Rob McCusker, 20 Scott Otten, 21 Brendon Leonard, 22 Jonathan Spratt, 23 Dafydd Howells

Dragons: 15 Tom Prydie, 14 Pat Howard, 13 Sam Beard, 12 Jack Dixon, 11 Adam Warren, 10 Nick Macloed, 9 Tavis Knoyle, 8 Ed Jackson, 7 Nic Cudd, 6 Lewis Evans (c), 5 Rynard Landman, 4 Nick Crosswell, 3 Brok Harris, 2 Thomas Rhys Thomas, 1 Sam Hobbs
Replacements: 16 Rhys Buckley, 17 Phil Price, 18 Lloyd Fairbrother, 19 Matthew Screech, 20 Ollie Griffiths, 21 Sarel Pretorius, 22 Geraint Rhys Jones, 23 Ashton Hewitt

Date: Saturday, October 29 
Venue: Liberty Stadium
Time: 15:00 local (14:00 GMT) 
Referee: Ben Whitehouse (Wales) 
Assistant Referees: Wayne Davies, Robert Price (both Wales)
TMO: Gareth Simmonds (Wales)