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Dyer double as Dragons stun Ospreys

23/10/2022

Wing Rio Dyer celebrated his Wales call-up with a devastating double as Dragons edged a pulsating BKT United Rugby Championship derby encounter with a 32-25 win over Ospreys at Rodney Parade.

An end-to-end first half saw the Men of Gwent battle back to level up matters courtesy of a try from Aaron Wainwright and a penalty try.

A scintillating score from Bradley Roberts and solo special from Dyer - this week called up by Wales for the autumn internationals - secured the try bonus point as the home side looked to pull clear.

Late drama saw Dragons reduced to 13 men before Dyer picked off a pass to race home.

Owen Watkin struck late but the home side held out to spark wild celebrations on the final whistle.

A late change saw Sam Davies come in for Jordan Williams, with Aneurin Own stepping up onto the bench.

And it was the visitors who struck almost from the kick-off as a clean line break in midfield from Jack Walsh after 37 seconds blew open space and George North galloped over.

Dragons looked to respond with Rio Dyer pressing the accelerator down the left before Aaron Wainwright cut a good line inside, but the ball was spilled.

Ross Moriarty was next to thunder into contact as Dragons dominated territory and possession in the first ten minutes after the drama of the early try.

The home side turned down a kickable penalty to go to the corner, but a stray lineout saw the opportunity missed. Walsh and Hanrahan exchanged penalties before the 20-minute mark.

Turnover ball and a dink kick through from Bertranou secured another penalty before the terraces erupted in disdain when Rhys Webb flew out the line but was not penalised.

A cutting run from Steff Hughes - off a superb inside pass from Davies - tore a huge hole in the Ospreys defence and after he was dragged down the ball eventually went wide for Wainwright to crash over.

Ospreys hit back four minutes later as they twice kicked to the corner and used their pack power to drive the lineout over, with replacement hooker Scott Baldwin touching down.

Bradley Roberts picked of a pass in midfield and was hauled down before Hanrahan pinned Ospreys back with a kick in behind for Rosser to chase.

Ospreys lost Number Eight Morgan Morris to the sin bin on the stroke of half-time.

And moments later a huge driving maul was cynically pulled down and referee Adam Jones awarded a penalty try and yellow carded Adam Beard.

Dragons, now against 13 men, thought they had scored a minute after the restart as Jack Dixon went over after Davies flew into space, but the centre was held up by Jac Morgan.

But they only had to wait a few more minutes as hooker Roberts picked up at the base and spotted a gap to crash over.

Four minutes later the home fans were again off their seats as ball was spun wide and Dyer baked himself as he raced to the corner to score the try bonus point for a 27-15 lead.

Back to 15 men, Ospreys went about battling back into the game and a long period of possession saw them work their way up field and force a penalty and add three more.

Dyer had Rodney Parade on its feet with sublime run from deep as he burst past men and fed Bertranou and Wainwright, but the cover defence stopped what looked a certain home try.

The game was now swinging from end to end as Ospreys forced a penalty and kicked up close and Dragons did well to defend the drive and win a scrum as the clock ticked into the final ten.

But another scrum penalty gave Ospreys the platform they craved and when Elliot Dee and Sean Lonsdale were yellow carded in the same play the visitors looked to turn the screw.

In an instant the game changed as Dyer picked off a pass and sped away to open up an 32-18 lead.

With a two men advantage, Ospreys hit back through Owen Watkin but a brave rear-guard heled them out before the final whistle was greeted with a deafeaning roar.

Timeline:

01m North t Walsh c 0-7

15m Walsh p 0-10

18m Hanrahan p 3-10

24m Wainwright t 8-10

28m Baldwin t 8-15

39m Penalty t 15-15

45m Roberts t Hanrahan c 22-15

49m Dyer t 27-15

55m Walsh p 27-18

76m Dyer t 32-18

78m Watkin t Walsh c 32-25

Dragons RFC: Sam Davies (Roberts 77), Rio Dyer, Steff Hughes (Owen 77), Jack Dixon (Clark 65), Jared Rosser, JJ Hanrahan, Gonzalo Bertranou (Williams 61), Rhodri Jones (Seiuli 61), Bradley Roberts (Dee 69), Lloyd Fairbrother (Coleman 65), Ben Carter, Will Rowlands (J. Davies 77), Aaron Wainwright, Harrison Keddie (Lonsdale 65), Ross Moriarty

Replacements: Elliot Dee, Aki Seiuli, Chris Coleman, Joe Davies, Sean Lonsdale, Rhodri Williams, Anuerin Owen, Max Clark

Ospreys: Max Nagy, George North, Owen Watkin, Michael Collins, Luke Morgan, Jack Walsh, Rhys Webb, Gareth Thomas, Dewi Lake, Tomas Francis, Adam Beard, Alun Wyn Jones, Ethan Roots, Jac Morgan, Morgan Morris

Replacements: Scott Baldwin, Nicky Smith, Tom Botha, Rhys Davies, Dan Lydiate, Justin Tipuric, Reuben Morgan Williams, Joe Hawkins

Referee: Adam Jones (WRU, 35th league game)

Attendance: 6,031

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