Last gasp Dragons stun Ospreys
What a finsh! A late resurgence at Rodney Parade meant the Dragons came out victors against the Ospreys – along with an undefeated streak during the home derbies safely secured.
Strong Dragons pressure early could have turned into points, with a Sam Davies penalty hitting the posts to keep the scoreboard at deadlock.
Instead it was the visitors that broke the lines for the first score of the game. A deft chip over the top into the hands of George North gave the Wales international an easy run into the corner, but Luke Price could not convert from the tee to put the lead at 5.
Dragons would get on the scoreboard through the boot of Davies moments later, with the fly-half converting from the tee just inside the Ospreys’ half.
The visitors would return the favour – with Luke Price slipping his effort between the posts and restoring the Ospreys advantage.
Their lead would not last thanks to a blistering line from an unlikely source – as Leon Brown broke through from 30 metres out unopposed, Davies converted to give Dragons their first lead of the game.
And despite a late Ospreys surge towards the line – Dragons defence stood firm and repelled the visitors to go into the half with a two-point lead.
A swift penalty within five minutes of the second period extended the home side’s advantage – with Davies keeping the scoreboard ticking over.
However, Ospreys kept the game close, instantly reducing the deficit with Price knocking over a penalty of his own straight from the restart.
And they would continue to battle back – Tiaan Thomas Wheeler exploiting the gaps to sneak under the posts for the visitors, restoring their previous lead as Price converted from the tee.
With a second-half resurgence Dragons defence would be tested – but it was one they could withstand as they managed to clear their lines of another Ospreys chance at the line.
Price once again had the chance to extend the lead from the tee but failed to convert just past the hour mark.
With the Ospreys defence seeming insurmountable – it took a strong scrum a quick switch of play to break through.
A chip out wide landed in the hands of Rio Dyer, and in similar fashion to his opposite winger in the first half, carried the ball over the line to bring the game level as his try went unconverted.
And in a flurry of mistakes from the visitors, the Dragons stole the game thanks to Adam Warren.
A mishap of mistakes led to a kick chase towards the line, and with a lucky bounce the replacement latched onto the ball, with Davies pushing the advantage to seven from the tee to round out the game.
20m North t 0-5
24m Davies p 3-5
27m Price p 3-8
34m Brown t Davies c 10-8
45m Davies p 13-8
50m Thomas-Wheeler t Price c 13-18
75m Dyer t 18-18
79m Warren t Davies c 25-18
Dragons: Will Talbot-Davies (Botica 52), Jared Rosser, Tyler Morgan (Warren 65), Tom Griffiths, Rio Dyer, Sam Davies, Rhodri Williams (Knoyle 73); Brok Harris, Elliot Dee (Hibbard 60), Leon Brown (Jarvis 60), Joe Davies, Matthew Screech, Aaron Wainwright (Keddie 60), Taine Basham, Ross Moriarty
Replacements: Richard Hibbard, Aaron Jarvis, Lloyd Fairbrother, Max Williams, Harri Keddie, Tavis Knoyle, Jacob Botica, Adam Warren
Ospreys: Cai Evans, George North (McKenzie 79), Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler, Scott Williams (Dirksen 56), Luke Morgan, Luke Price, Aled Davies (Venter 76); Nicky Smith (Marfo 71), Sam Parry (Otten 40), Ma’afu Fia (Gardiner 65), Adam Beard, Bradley Davies, Olly Cracknell (Lydiate 63), Justin Tipuric, Morgan Morris (Cross 73)
Replacements: Scott Otten, Darrl Marfo, Simon Gardiner, Dan Lydiate, Sam Cross, Shaun Venter, Marty McKenzie, Hanno Dirksen Referee: Andrew Brace (IRFU)