Dragons Defeated by Strong Ospreys
Dragons suffered a disappointing defeat at the hands of the Ospreys in a high scoring affair in the Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup at Rodney Parade.
Tries from Dan Baker, Rio Dyer and a brace from Jonah Holmes - plus six points from the boot of fly half Sam Davies - wasn’t enough for Dragons to make it back-to-back wins over the Ospreys, although the home side did secure a try bonus point.
Ospreys bounced back from last week’s defeat against the Scarlets with tries from Dewi Cross, Morgan Morris, Reuben Morgan-Williams, Dan Evans and Max Nagy alongside 17 points from Luke Price guiding them to victory.
Dragons next face Glasgow Warriors at the Cardiff City Stadium with hopes of redemption, while the Ospreys travel to Galway to take on Connacht.
It was a brilliant start for the home side with a well worked lineout move seeing a Davies cross-field kick collected by Holmes who powered his way past Evans and showed his pace to score. Davies added the extras.
Ospreys brought themselves back into the game and after a strong scrum they got themselves on the board from the penalty thanks to the boot of Price.
Hooker Taylor Davies saw yellow for a tip tackle on Ospreys captain Justin Tipuric just after the 20 minute mark.
Ospreys looked to take advantage of the extra man and a Price kick looked like Cross was in to score but a brilliant cover tackle by wing Dyer kept the Ospreys out.
Moments later, though, Cross was not to be denied again as a lovely, delayed Morgan-Williams pass saw Cross score under the sticks untouched.
Price added the extras and the away side led 7-10 after the half hour mark.
Ospreys were on the front foot once again and after a few phases Number Eight Morris bundled his way over from close range.
Price converted to give the away side a ten-point lead. Another dominant Ospreys scrum saw them have the opportunity to extend their lead once more and Price obliged by adding another three off the tee, to extend the score to 7-20.
Dragons closed the gap just before half time as brilliant hands from Josh Lewis and Aneurin Owen saw Holmes race down the wing for his second of the game. Davies added the conversion to cut the lead to 20-14 at the break.
Ospreys got a dream start to the second half with Price adding another three points to the total.
Dragons responded instantly with Baker using his power to score the home side’s third try of the game, after Ospreys hooker Sam Parry received a yellow card. Davies made no mistake off the tee to reduce the lead to two points.
It wasn’t to last, though, as Morgan-Williams scored a fine solo try showing his pace and strength to finish brilliantly in the corner.
Dragons kept the pressure on but Ospreys managed to turn the ball over at every opportunity and mistakes started to creep in for home game.
Ospreys scored next with full back Evans powering his way through some poor defence to cross the line. Price added the conversion and the away side lead 35-21 just after the hour mark.
Dragons made the last ten minutes interesting with winger Dyer scoring the home side’s fourth try - and securing the bonus point - after a brilliant carry from Holmes.
The home side upped the tempo in the closing stages but they couldn’t make it stick and the Ospreys scored last as replacement Max Nagy put the final nail in the coffin, with Price adding the extras.
02m Holmes t Davies c 7-0
11m Price p 7-3
25m Cross t Price c 7-10
30m Morris t Price c 7-17
35m Price p 7-20
39m Holmes t Davies c 14-20
41m Price p 14-23
43m Baker t Davies c 21-23
45m Morgan-Williams t 21-28
61m Evans t Price c 21-35
72m Dyer t 26-35
79m Nagy t Price c 26-42
Dragons: Josh Lewis (Davies 64), Jonah Holmes, Jack Dixon, Aneurin Owen, Rio Dyer, Sam Davies, Gonzalo Bertranou (Babos 70); Greg Bateman (Jarvis 70), Taylor Davies (Hibbard 52), Leon Brown (Coleman 40), Joe Davies (Taylor 53), Ben Carter (Maksymiw 73), Aaron Wainwright, Ollie Griffiths, Dan Baker (Basham 52)
Replacements: Richard Hibbard, Josh Reynolds, Chris Coleman, Joe Maksymiw, Huw Taylor, Taine Basham, Dan Babos, Ioan Davies
Ospreys: Dan Evans, Luke Morgan, Owen Watkin, Keiran Williams, Dewi Cross, Luke Price, Reuben Morgan-Williams, Gareth Thomas, Sam Parry, Tom Botha, Bradley Davies, Alun Wyn Jones, Ethan Roots, Justin Tipuric (CAPT), Morgan Morris
Replacements: Todd Gleave, Nicky Smith, Rhys Henry, Rhys Davies, Will Griffiths, Matthew Aubrey, Joe Hawkins, Max Nagy.
Referee: Frank Murphy (IRFU, 45th competition game)