Match Report: Ospreys 20-31 Dragons
Wing wonders Ashton Hewitt and Jonah Holmes both scored a brace as Dragons ran in five tries in a bonus point victory over rivals the Ospreys at Brewery Field in Bridgend.
Tries from Aaron Wainwright, two from Holmes and two from Dragons centurion Hewitt plus six points from the boot of man of the match Sam Davies was enough for the Dragons to end their losing run and leave with a bonus point victory in the Guinness PRO14.
Ospreys managed two tries from centre Keiron Williams and ten points from fly half Stephen Myler but it wasn’t enough for the home side as they suffer their second successive defeat.
Ospreys capitalised on an awful start from Dragons with a charge down putting the away side under pressure on their own line. Dragons defence managed to hold out the Ospreys pack but illegally according to the referee.
Ospreys decided to go for it instead of taking the points and following a few re-set scrums it was the Dragons that came out on top and managed to clear their lines through the boot of Davies.
It wasn’t long before the home side were back on the attack in the Dragons 22 and after multiple infringements, lock Joe Davies was shown a yellow card and the Dragons were down to 14 men for ten minutes.
Dragons came back following the yellow card and had the opportunity to score the first points of the game, despite being down to 14 men, through the boot of Davies, but unfortunately the fly half’s kick landed just short of the posts.
The away side, who forced their way into the game after a nervy opening ten minutes, did manage to get on the board first, thanks to a try from Number Eight Wainwright who powered his way over after some impressive phase play from the Men of Gwent. Davies added the extras and the Dragons led 7-0 after 25 minutes.
Ospreys didn’t take long to get on the scoreboard themselves as they managed to capitalise on a poor Dragons exit and fly half Myler knocked over the penalty as the away side were penalised for not rolling away at ruck time.
The home side were looking to edge in front for the first time in the game following a fantastic Myler kick into the Dragons corner, but once again some fantastic maul defence from Dean Ryan’s men forced the turnover and allowed Bertranou to clear their lines.
Ospreys attack didn’t relent and centre Williams crossed for their first try of the game after running a fantastic line and showing real power to go over the whitewash. Myler added the extras and the score was 10-7 to the Ospreys after 37 minutes.
That remained the score heading into half time and the Dragons had work to do heading into the second half.
The first ten minutes of the second half was spent in the middle of the field with both sides trying to gain the edge.
It was Dragons full back Josh Lewis, once again having a strong performance at 15, who gained that edge with a fantastic kick deep into Ospreys territory.
Dragons managed to score their second try of the game through wing Holmes after some fantastic offloading from the back row of Harrison Keddie and Wainwright before scrum half Bertranou managed to break free and send Holmes in for an easy try. Davies missed the extras and the score was 12-10 to the away side after 50 minutes.
Once more the Ospreys bounced straight back with Williams going over for his second try of the game almost immediately after the restart following some poor tackling from the away side and, after Myler added the conversion, the home side led 17-12.
The back and forth contest continued as Dragons dominant lineout proved too strong for the Ospreys and after multiple infringements lock Rhys Davies was shown a yellow card as the home side went down to 14 men on their own try line.
Dragons made the extra man count through winger Hewitt on his 100th appearance for the region. Davies missed the conversion and the scores were level at 17-17 at the hour mark.
The away side remained on top throughout the sin bin period but couldn’t edge ahead on the scoreboard despite some beautiful attacking play.
It was the Ospreys who edged ahead with another three points from the boot of Myler after a strong driving maul themselves in Dragons territory.
Dragons sealed their try bonus point moments later with Lewis running a fantastic line off Davis and then sending Holmes over for his second of the game, making that four in two for the Welsh international. Davies added the conversion and the away side led 24-20 after 70 minutes.
The visitors sealed the victory with an amazing try from centurion Hewitt who run a fantastic angle off replacement scrum half Rhodri Williams and went under the posts untouched from 50 metres out. Davies added the extras and the away side led 31-20 with five minutes to go.
23m Wainwright t Davies c 0-7
27m Myler p 3-7
35m Williams t Myler c 10-7
49m Holmes t 10-12
50m Williams t Myler c 17-12
56m Hewitt t 17-17
67m Myler p 20-17
68m Holmes t Davies c 20-24
75m Hewitt t Davies c 20-31
Ospreys: Dan Evans, Hanno Dirksen, Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler, Keiran Williams, Keelan Giles, Stephen Myler, Rhys Webb, Nicky Smith, Sam Parry, Tom Botha, Lloyd Ashley, Rhys Davies, Will Griffiths, Olly Cracknell, Morgan Morris.
Replacements: Ifan Phillips, Garyn Phillips, Ma’afu Fia, Gareth Evans, Sam Cross, Reuben Morgan-Williams, Owen Watkin, Dewi Cross.
Dragons: Josh Lewis, Jonah Holmes, Aneurin Owen, Jamie Roberts, Ashton Hewitt, Sam Davies, Gonzalo Bertranou (R. Williams 52); Brok Harris (Reynolds 64), Richard Hibbard, Lloyd Fairbrother (Jarvis 76), Joe Davies (Carter 67), Joe Maksymiw, Ross Moriarty, Harrison Keddie (Baker 52), Aaron Wainwright.
Replacements: Rhys Lawrence, Josh Reynolds, Aaron Jarvis, Ben Carter, Dan Baker, Rhodri Williams, Jack Dixon, Jordan Williams.