The Ospreys suffered a narrow 20-19 defeat against Dragons RFC at Rodney Parade in their first pre-season encounter of the season.
O’s fans would’ve been pleased to see a host of new faces in the starting line up with James Ratti, Ethan Lewis and Luke Davies all making their debuts, while Dan Edwards made his first senior start for the club.
The hosts started off brightly when winger Ewan Rosser picked off Mat Protheroe’s pass and sprinted clear of the Ospreys defence to score. Will Reed converted to put the Dragons 7-0 ahead.
Ospreys responded by putting pressure on the Dragons defence in their own 22, however, the home side held out.
Dragons worked their way back up the field and managed to score their second try of the match, Ollie Griffiths powered his way through the Ospreys defence to score under the posts. Reed converted.
Ospreys got themselves back into the game around the half-hour mark, Owen Watkin made a lovely outside break before passing inside to Jack Walsh who went over under the sticks to pull a try back. Dan Edwards converted.
Half-time: Dragons 14-7 Ospreys
The opening exchanges of the second half lacked flow due to both sides making a host of changes. Lewis Lloyd and Morgan Morse both made their senior debuts off the bench, while Ospreys fans also got to see Dom Morris and Toby Fricker for the first time.
Dragons extended their lead around the hour mark when former Osprey Cai Evans kicked a successful penalty.
Ospreys responded once again, Reuben Morgan-Williams broke through the Dragons defence out wide before being brought down ten metres short of the try line. The backs managed to get quick ball, Dom Morris’ slick pass put Max Nagy through a gap to score. Walsh converted, bringing the deficit down to three points.
The hosts battled hard through their physical pack, winning another kickable penalty. This time, Will Reed slotted the three points.
The Ospreys never game up, into the final five minutes of the game, the O’s piled the pressure on the Dragons defence. After kicking a penalty to the corner, the trademark driving maul came to fruition, Lewis Lloyd broke off the back of the maul to dive over for his first senior try. Walsh missed the tricky conversion from the touchline.
A point down, the Ospreys came back at the Dragons in the closing stages. Luke Scully made a smart break through the home defence before a covering defender brought him down and the hosts managed to turn the ball over to secure a one-point victory.
Full-time: Dragons 20-19 Ospreys