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Flashback: Dragons edge Ospreys in epic

07/01/2021

Ahead of Saturday’s Guinness PRO14 local derby game against Ospreys at Rodney Parade, we turn back the clock to 2012 for a #ThrowbackThursday…

Dragons 21-20 Ospreys - January 6th, 2012

Dragons held on for a one-point victory over Ospreys after Dan Biggar's last-gasp drop-goal attempt dramatically rebounded off a post.

The Wales international held his head in his hands as the Rodney Parade faithful celebrated a Welsh derby victory by the narrowest of margins.

Dragons had scored two tries in as many minutes from full-back Martyn Thomas and replacement centre Lewis Robling, while wing Tommy Bowe crossed for the Ospreys.

Home stand-off Jason Tovey booted 11 points, with opposite number Matthew Morgan contributing five penalties for a 15-point haul.

Dragons went into the break 9-6 ahead as Tovey landed three penalties against two from Morgan. But at that stage the game was chiefly noteworthy for the three yellow cards dished out by referee James Jones.

Former Wales international lock Ian Evans was the culprit for two of the Dragons' penalties as he lay offside at rucks on both occasions, the second earning him 10 minutes in the sin-bin.

Tovey made sure of a second penalty when Ospreys captain Justin Tipuric was offside at a ruck before Morgan levelled with two penalties of his own.

Then, with just a few minutes to go before the end of a poor first half, referee Jones handed out two more yellow cards.

Home wing Tonderai Chavhanga earned himself 10 minutes on the sidelines for a deliberate knock-on and Ospreys flanker Tom Smith killed the ball when he did not need to, saw yellow, and heard the home crowd roar Tovey's third penalty success as the half ended.

However, where the first half was a squib, the second period was a thriller. After just 27 seconds, Ospreys full-back Barry Davies tried an ambitious 48-metre drop-goal which only just dropped under the home bar.

Then centre Ashley Beck thundered down field from halfway, laid the ball off to Davies for Thomas to infringe and allow Morgan to level the game. But a double strike from the home side took them clear.

A multi-handed move, that criss-crossed the pitch, finished with wing Will Harries passing to Thomas on the right touchline, and the full-back cut inside to beat three defenders for the try.

Two minutes later, Morgan threw a careless pass in the direction of his centres which Robling intercepted before racing 48 metres under the posts, with Tovey converting. It put the Dragons 21-9 ahead and in the driving seat.

But Ospreys dug in and gave themselves a chance of taking the honours at the death.

Morgan added two penalties and, with 16 minutes still to go, the visitors were back within a converted try of victory.

And they grabbed a score which involved centres Tom Isaacs and Beck to set Irish wing Tommy Bowe in at the corner.

Biggar missed the crucial conversion from wide out, so the Dragons led by a single point. It all boiled down to Biggar's attempt at a grand finale.

He struck the ball exceptionally well but the fly-half saw his effort thud an upright, and bounce clear as Dragons hoofed the ball into touch to keep a four-year winning streak at Rodney Parade over the Ospreys intact.

Dragons: M Thomas; Harries, Brew, A Smith, Chavhanga; Tovey, W Evans; N Williams, S Jones, Buck, A Jones, Sidoli, Lydiate, L Evans, Faletau

Replacements: Robling for A Smith (22), M Jones for Tovey (75), Bedford for W Evans (77), Buckley for S Jones (64), Way for Buck (66), Groves for A Jones (79), Waters for L Evans (72)

Ospreys: B Davies; E Walker, Isaacs, Beck, Dirksen; Morgan, Webb; D Jones, Bennett, Jarvis, R Jones, Evans, Smith, Tipuric, Bearman

Replacements: Bowe for E Walker (70), Biggar for Morgan (61), Fotuali'i for Webb (55), James for D Jones (50), Hibbard for Bennett (50), A Jones for Jarvis (50), J Thomas for Evans (43), Stowers for Bearman (58)

 Att: 6,897

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