Ospreys 22 Newport Gwent Dragons 11

A hard fought derby win at the Liberty Stadium ensured that the Ospreys retain top spot as the PRO12 breaks for a month.

They sit a point clear of second placed Glasgow and five ahead of Ulster who sit just outside of the play-off spots in fifth place.

Man of the match Tyler Ardron scored the only try of the match, while Dan Biggar enjoyed a 100 per cent record with the boot, his 17 points coming from five penalties and a conversion.

It was far from a classic as the Ospreys failed to fire on all cylinders but the win was just what the Ospreys needed, ensuring they bounced straight back from last weekend’s disappointing defeat at Parc y Scarlets.

The visitors started brightly, and they grabbed the first points of the afternoon through the boot of Tom Prydie five minutes in, after Alun Wyn Jones was penalised for going off his feet at the breakdown.

Biggar leveled things in the 14th minute, a good kick chase from Richard Fussell allowing his forwards to win a turnover on the Dragons 10m line, a penalty eventually coming their way on the 22m line after an offence by Prydie.

The first quarter was an open affair, both sides looking to move the ball when the opportunity presented itself, but the action was mainly taking places between the 22s with defences firmly on top.

The Dragons then turned down a kickable penalty, after Dmitri Arhip was pinged at the scrum, to go for the corner only to make a hash of the lineout 10m out, finding themselves penalised for crossing.

Just a couple of minutes later it was the Ospreys in a similar position, Biggar going to the corner instead of taking a shot at goal, albeit from a lot further out. Although the attempted maul failed to make any progress the ball was moved into midfield where first Arhip and then Rhys Webb went for the line. It was referred to the TMO, replays showing the prop held up and then the scrum half knocking on as he went to ground, a clear decision of no try.

The first try did come just a couple of minutes later after a missed kick to touch from the Dragons proved costly, Dan Evans’ acrobatics keeping the ball in play just inside his own half. The ball was run back at the Dragons, and it was Dan Lydiate who punched a hole in the defence, bursting through the line at pace before eventually being hauled down just a couple of metres out.

It was recycled well and after a series of pick and drives to suck defenders in, Webb eventually spun it out wide to the left where the Ospreys had a three man overlap, and it was Ardron who went over for the score. Biggar converted to take the score to 10-3 with 32 minutes gone.

Prydie responded with his second successful penalty of the contest, but there was time left for Biggar to take his team seven clear once more before the teams went in for half-time.


An early scrum penalty against the Dragons, on their own put-in on their 10m line, allowed Biggar to put three more points between the sides within four minutes of the restart.

Handed a chance to take the score to 19-6 after Dragons hands in the ruck, the Ospreys opted to go to the corner. The first attempt at the drive over the line was halted illegally and they were handed a second go, but on this attempt the ball went forward off an Osprey hand, resulting in a Dragons scrum from which they were able to clear.

The Ospreys had been well on top since the restart without converting that dominance into points, but after the scrum went down in front of the sticks just before the hour, this time Biggar took the points to extend the lead.

After a string of second half scrum penalties against the Dragons, referee Dudley Phillips lost patience in the 61st minute and issued a yellow card to tight head Brok Harris.

At the very next scrum the numbers were evened up, Scott Baldwin joining Harris in the sinbin after being penalised for popping up, the card shown to the replacement hooker despite it being only the third scrum he had taken part in after replacing Sam Parry.

Prydie went for goal from the resulting penalty but his long-range effort never looked like finding the target.

The Dragons had shown little as an attacking force in the second half but as the clock moved towards the final 10 minutes they were able to put together a prolonged spell of pressure, going through the phases deep inside the Ospreys 22, creating a gap for scrum half Richie Rees to dart over from close range. Prydie’s conversion struck the outside of the near post, leaving the score at 19-11 to the home team.

The Ospreys were able to wrestle back control in the final minutes, and Biggar rounded off the game with a simple penalty to round off the win.