Dragons 9-22 Ospreys: Ospreys finish the year on a high
Last Updated: 31/12/17 8:21pm
Ospreys ended their Guinness PRO14 drought with a three-try victory on New Year's Eve over the Dragons at Rodney Parade.
Hooker Scott Baldwin and wing Cory Allen scored the Ospreys' tries in the first half, with fly-half Dan Biggar kicking a penalty and conversion.
Three penalties by home stand-off Arwel Robson provided the hosts with their first-half points.
A second-half five-pointer from replacement Sam Davies, that Biggar also converted, gave the West Walians the chance to get a fourth try and bonus point, but it failed to materialise.
Ospreys made a blistering start as they looked to gain their first away victory in the competition since Round 17 last season.
For the evening's hosts the aim was to bounce back following their 22-17 home defeat to Cardiff Blues on Boxing Day.
Robson landed a 30-metre penalty to reduce the deficit but a piece of brilliance by fly-half Biggar in chasing a kick down field saw the Wales international reclaim the ball, and race to within five metres of the line before laying an inside pass for Allen to score an easy try.
The home stand-off added another three points but it was scant relief as the Ospreys piled on the pressure again.
The visitors came close several times before Biggar booted a straight-forward penalty when Dragons' centre Jack Dixon was yellow carded for killing the ball at a ruck.
Yet, as much as Ospreys dominated territory, they were their own worst enemies. A penalty for collapsing a scrum allowed Robson to bang over his third kick at goal, this time from 40 metres.
Under considerable pressure, the Dragons' 14 men held firm and the teams went into the interval with the visitors leading 15-9.
The Dragons came out fighting but the Ospreys scored again.
They attacked in the Dragons 22 through a long pass from a ruck in midfield to find Davies. He latched onto it and had a simple job of executing the try from five metres, which Biggar again converted from the touchline.
Handling errors from both sides meant the match became slightly laboured as the pattern returned of Ospreys pressuring in the home half and staunch Dragons defence countering it.
The sides played out a stalemate in the final minutes as Ospreys won by 13 points and were set for a more satisfying New Year's Eve celebration than their opponents.