Dragoins Match Report

Sin bin takes headlines as Dragons come out on top against Ospreys

Dragons RFC held onto a win in a close fought battle at Rodney Parade, making the most of the two sin bin advantage during a key part of the match.

Ospreys got off to a flying start against Dragons RFC with Jack Walsh breaking the line inside the first minute and whipping a perfect pass out wide for George North who was able to finish for the early try. Walsh put over the conversion from a tight angle, giving the Ospreys a 7 point lead.

After a slow start, the Dragons began to work their way into the game, having some strong periods of possession. Rio Dyer broke through wide right as the Dragons closed in on the Ospreys 22 but the ball was knocked on in the following phase.

Following a succession of penalties, the home team kicked to the corner but the resulting lineout was wayward. Ospreys went on to win a penalty from the resulting scrum, continuing their record of winning their own scrums this year (95%).

Continuing his strong start to the game, Walsh kicked a penalty from just outside the 40 metre line to extend Ospreys’ lead. In the midst of the penalty, Dewi Lake was taken off, being replaced by Scott Baldwin.

Dragons answered back quickly with a penalty straight from kickoff that was converted by Hanrahan. They were then able to score their first try of the game after a strong line break from Steff Hughes was eventually crashed over the line by Sam Wainwright. Hanrahan was unable to convert, keeping the Ospreys ahead by 2.

Shortly after, a grubber from Jack Walsh into the left corner forced the Dragons into making a clearance kick that made touch just outside their 5. The Ospreys pack began to put pressure on the Dragons defense winning multiple penalties and lineouts, allowing Scott Baldwin to power his way over the line from the maul. 15-8 Ospreys.

The Ospreys score seemed to once again awaken the Dragons who were able to apply some attacking pressure, with Morgan Morris being sent to the sin bin.

Following the sin bin, the Ospreys conceded a penalty try from the lineout, with Adam Beard also being sent to the sin bin, leaving the Ospreys with 13 men.

Half-time: Dragons RFC 15 - 15 Ospreys

The teams walked back out onto the pitch, with Rhys Webb being replaced by Reuben Morgan Williams.

The hosts came out strong in second half and almost scored if not for a try saving tackle from Jac Morgan, holding the ball up for the five metre scrum.

The two man advantage continued to take it’s toll on the Ospreys, with more pressure being applied by the Dragons pack with a rolling maul near the line. The Ospreys were able to stop the maul on this occasion but Roberts was able to bully his way over the line in the next phase. Hanrahan converted, 22-15 Dragons.

Morgan Morris returned from the bin shortly after, but Dragons were able to make the extra man count with Rio Dyer finishing off a well worked move in the corner, 27-15 Dragons.

With Beard back on, Ospreys were back to full strength and began to apply some pressure of their own. An extended stint of possession was rewarded by a penalty, converted by Walsh, 27-18 Dragons.

Rio Dyer continued his solid performance with another run from his own half that almost resulted in a try for the hosts. Owen Watkin saved the day on this occasion as he brought down Aaron Wainwright close to the try line with a tackle.

Ospreys continued their work in the scrum in the second half, winning a penalty near halfway that was kicked for touch and gave Ospreys possession in the Dragons’ 22. Despite another long stint, the Dragons were able to turnover the ball from an Ospreys rolling maul a few plays later.

That wasn’t the end of the Ospreys stint in the 22 however as the Ospreys pack won another penalty at the scrum, putting the pressure on again.

The script was flipped for the last 10 minutes as it was the Dragons’ turn to have two players in the sin bin. Regardless, Rio Dyer intercepted the ball and ran the length of the pitch to score a try and give the hosts a 14 point lead. Dragons 32, Ospreys 18.

Ospreys continued to push on towards the end and were rewarded with a try from Owen Watkin.

Full-time: Dragons RFC 32 - 25 Ospreys

Head coach Toby Booth commented, "The dragons were very energetic and energised as you'd expect at home. We started off well as a team but if you keep giving away penalties you end up burning your own energy, burning your own motivation and then you start stretching for it.

By the end of the game our penalty count was almost double theirs and it’s tough to win a game when you’re on the wrong end of ill discipline, whether we agree with it or not."