REPORT | Celtic Cup Ends With Win
Dragons ended their Celtic Cup campaign with a bonus point victory against their Welsh regional rivals Ospreys at the Centre for Sporting Excellence, Ystrad Mynach.
The Men of Gwent gave starts to James Sheekey, Arwel Robson and Jack Cosgrove, but there were stand out contributions across the backline notably by Dai Richards and Daf Buckland, whilst Luke Yendle put in a number of impressive hits and Ben Fry was always a willing ball carrier.
With the competition final already confirmed as Leinster against Ulster, the final group game would have no impact but victory lifted Dragons back up above Munster in the final standings, into fifth spot, behind Scarlets and above Ospreys and Cardiff Blues.
A wet afternoon in the Caerphilly borough, was brightened by both team’s interest to play an expansive game which has typified the competition.
Both sides scored four tries, with two apiece in each half. The opening forty was a see-saw affair, as first Dragons scored through full back Dai Richards, before Ospreys claimed two tries through their powerful centre Kieran Williams and livewire nine Reuben Morgan-Williams.
After falling behind, Dragons rallied and a fine individual finish by wing James McCarthy gave pivot Arwel Robson the chance to put the Dragons back in front by one-point before half time following an earlier penalty.
In the second half Dragons exerted their authority to extend their slender half time lead to fourteen points, through the boot of Arwel Robson, who slotted a further two penalties, as well as a conversion following a second score for wing James McCarthy.
The Ospreys never gave up and in the last quarter they again hit back with two tries of their own to pick up a bonus point, either side of a Carwyn Penny penalty as he took over the kicking duties, replacing Robson for the final 15 minutes.
Dragons rang the changes in the second half with all the replacements joining the fray and it was the home team that had the final word, with substitute wing Rio Dyer crossing in the corner in what was the final change to the scoreboard as the Dragons ended winners, 36-24.