Celtic League
Dragons edge out Ospreys
December 19, 2008
Report Match details
Date/Time: Dec 19, 2008, 19:35 local, 19:35 GMT
Venue: Rodney Parade, Newport
Dragons 30 - 24 Ospreys
Half-time: 15 - 14
Tries: Lewis, Thomas, Tovey, Wyatt
Cons: Connor 2
Pens: Connor 2
Tries: Henson 2
Cons: Biggar
Pens: Biggar 4
The Dragons' Jason Tovey clears his lines during the Anglo-Welsh Cup clash with Newcastle Falcons at Rodney Parade in Newport, Wales  on October 3, 2008.
Jason Tovey grabbed the Dragons' fourth try to secure the bonus point
© Getty Images

The Dragons recorded a 30-24 bonus-point victory over the Ospreys in their Celtic League clash at a rain-soaked Rodney Parade.

Both sides came into the clash requiring the win for different reasons with the Ospreys keen to close the gap on league leaders Munster and the lowly Dragons determined to get their campaign back on track. in the end it was the hosts who were celebrating after securing a win that took them above arch rivals Cardiff Blues who visit on Boxing Day.

Within the opening quarter of an hour of the match the lead changed three times. Fly-half Dan Biggar put the Ospreys ahead with a penalty before pressure on their own line saw big flanker Hoani MacDonald take a line-out, hooker Steve Jones go through a gap and scrum-half Robert Lewis dive in at the corner.

Biggar's second penalty reduced the deficit but yet again the Dragons soon had their opponents on their goal-line again and Wales prop Rhys Thomas eventually went over. There were suspicions he had dropped the ball but, after a view from fourth official Gareth Simmonds on the replay, the try was given and converted by fly-half Shaun Connor.

Connor kicked another penalty to extend the home side's lead before the Ospreys managed to get into the game eight minutes before the break. Wales ace Gavin Henson, playing his first match in six weeks for his region due to injury and the birth of his second child, finished off a well-worked move across the backs to go over in the corner.

A third Biggar penalty from 42 metres cut the difference to just a single point at the break in the Dragons' favour. Within 30 seconds of the re-start the Dragons regained their four-point advantage when Connor put over a penalty.

A rousing cheer was reserved for Ospreys scrum-half Mike Phillips, who came on as a replacement on 50 minutes for his first run-out after nine months of injury. The sides then exchanged tries within a minute of each other, MacDonald giving Dragons wing Gareth Wyatt a scoring pass before centre Sonny Parker sent Henson in for his second.

As the rain sheeted down just after the hour, Biggar had a chance to regain the lead when the Dragons came offside at a ruck but pushed his 30-metre shot wide. It was all the Ospreys as the game entered the final 10 minutes but a combination of excellent home defence and mistakes by the visitors kept the Dragons in front at 23-21.

But the Dragons got their try bonus point when flanker Colin Charvis kicked over the top of the defensive line for fullback Jason Tovey to latch onto and score. Connor's conversion put the home team seven points ahead. That lead was cut by a fourth Biggar penalty but it was not enough to deny the home side the win.

Dragons: Jason Tovey; Gareth Wyatt, Rhodri Gomer-Davies; Rory Sidey, Richard Fussell, Shaun Connor, Robert Lewis; Adam Black, Steve Jones, Rhys Thomas, Adam Jones, Luke Charteris (capt), Colin Charvis, Hoani MacDonald, Joe Bearman.

Replacements: Tom Willis, Gethin Robinson, Dan Lydiate, Lewis Evans, Ashley Smith, Phillip Dollman, Tom Isaacs.

Ospreys: Gavin Henson; Tommy Bowe; Sonny Parker, Andrew Bishop; Jonny Vaughton; Dan Biggar, Rhodri Wells; Paul James, Ed Shervington, Cai Griffiths, Ian Gough, Jonathan Thomas, Tom Smith, Marty Holah, Ryan Jones (capt).

Replacements: Marc Breeze, Adam Jones, Filo Tiatia, Steve Tandy, Mike Phillips, Ashley Beck, Kristian Phillips.

Referee: Peter Allan (SRU)

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