Despite an impressive comeback from the Ospreys Under 16's. they were narrowly edged out by a powerful Dragons side in a high octane nine try thriller.
It was an all Dragons first quarter as they settled into the gamequickly and dominated across the field. Strong teamwork and some fantastic passes saw them cross the try line after 7 minutes but a difficult kick saw the conversion attempt slice across the front of the posts.
The home side were quickly back on the attack and a few minutes later, a missed tackle by the Ospreys left the try line open for the Dragons to score. Again the try went unconverted as the fly half rushed his kick.
Just as it looked like it was going to be a runaway game for the Dragons, the Ospreys made an standout come back in a 10 minute period that saw five tries between the two sides.
With 17 minutes on the clock the Ospreys West Under 16's finally made it into their opponents 22. They took advantage of an overlap to gain ground and Joe Bright eventually powered over to get on the scoreboard. Josh Collins extending their lead with the conversion.
Suddenly the visitors to Ystrad Mynach were in the game and their defence against a powerful dragons side strengthened. In response the home side attempted to pass the ball out wide only to be intercepted by Ben Cambriani who ran in from the half way line to take the lead for the Eyasses. Collins with a second successful conversion, 3 minutes after his first.
The impressive Ospreys comeback continued when just two minutes later they found the try line again. This time it was Iwan Richards who, upon receiving the ball on the halfway line, dodged and dived tacklers to put the ball down between the posts. Collins again successfully converting.
It wasn't all Ospreys during the high octane period however as just a minute after the Ospreys scored, the Dragons too crossed the line. They stole an Ospreys line out on the 22 and from there the powerful pack drove it forward, with a quick break they were over the line. Again their conversion attempt failing to find it's mark.
In a blink and you miss it match, there was again just one minute between the tries. Sean Collins carried the ball up field, powering through the Dragons defence to score the Ospreys fourth try. Josh Collins missing his first kick all evening.
The Dragons tried again and again to reach the try line in the remaining five minutes of the first half but a sterling effort in defence from the young Ospreys kept them out. After 35 minutes the score remained:
Dragons North 15 - 26 Ospreys West
With just 20 seconds on the clock in the second half it looked like the Ospreys would gain the upper hand as the Dragons were shown a yellow card. However being down a man seemed to spur on the home side and they showed early dominance. Three minutes into the half they raced up the wing to score before a first successful conversion brought them to just four points behind the team from the West.
The home side continued to show their strength and despite their man advantage the Ospreys barely touched the ball for the rest of the quarter. Some great tackles kept them in the lead however, despite receiving their own yellow card with Rhodri Evans being sent to the bin. This time it was the young Ospreys who flourished despite only having 14 men on the field, a certain try was only stopped when the referee called them back for a forward pass within feet of the try line.
For the next ten minutes both teams struggled to make an impact, matching each other's attacking and defensive moves. However when Ben Cambriani was given a yellow card the Dragons took advantage of their extra man to cross in the corner and retake the lead. The successful conversion edging them further ahead.
As the game came to a close, the Ospreys West team desperately tried to get the try needed to give them the win. They were within touching distance of the try line on a few occasions but the powerful Dragons just managed to keep them from going over and the game ended:
Dragons North 29 - 26 Ospreys West
Dai Jones, Head Coach of the Ospreys West Under 16's side, commented on his side's performance:
"I'm pleased with the boys performance tonight. Although it was a close game last week, it was poor and we didn't give a good account of ourselves and the boys know it. This week, we lost and the boys are absolutely devastated, but individually and as a team the performances were much better. It was almost like looking at a different side.
"We had a chance to win it in the last play of the game and that's the sort of thing the boys need to learn. You don't get many chances and you have to take them when you do get them. However saying that we did make something out of nothing on several occasions and scored in the first half so you just have to take that as it comes.
"I can't wait to play next week and the boys are really excited for it. There's always things to work on between matches and it changes from week to week. We focused almost entirely on contact area on Monday and it showed today but we did lose our composure in attack so maybe that's something that we look at."