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Ospreys v Dragons

Updated: Apr 2, 2021

With the 6 Nations on hold, attention turned back to regional rugby and the Pro14 clash at Bridgend between the Ospreys and the Dragons. With nearest rivals, Glasgow, picking up 5 points in this round, this became an almost must win game. The Ospreys were boosted by the return of Owen Watkin from the Wales camp and he would be on the bench.

The Ospreys kicked off and spent virtually the entire first quarter of the match camped inside the Dragons’ 22, but even though the Dragons had a player yellow-carded in the 10th minute, the Ospreys could not get over the line and spurned several shots at goal in search of tries.

Against the run of play, it would be the Dragons who opened the scoring with a converted try in the 23rd minute to lead 0-7.

The Ospreys then won a penalty which Myler slotted between the posts to make it 3-7 in the 26th minute.

The Ospreys upped the intensity and scored again in the 35th minute. An Ospreys lineout went off the top and down to Kieran Williams and he burst past three Dragons’ defenders to score a try, 8-7. Myler converted and the Ospreys now led 10-7 in the 36th minute. At this moment, Rhys Webb went off with an injury and was replaced by Ruben Morgan-Williams.

There was no other action in the first half and the teams went in with the score still 10-7.

The Dragons started the second half in the ascendancy and kept the Ospreys under pressure. This paid off when under penalty advantage, the Dragons got the ball back down the blindside and easily finished off a three man overlap for their second try, but the conversion fell short. In the 49th minute, the Dragons now led 10-12.

It was the turn of the Ospreys to put their opponents back under pressure and some lovely inter-passing between Morgan-Williams, Will Griffiths and Dan Evans put K Williams in the clear for his second try of the match. Myler would add the conversion, so in the 52nd minute the Ospreys led 17-12.

Ospreys’ lock Rhys Davies was shown a yellow card in the 55th minute after a team warning for repeated infringements and the Dragons took full advantage with the extra man, by scoring their third try to make it 17-17 just one minute later.

In a back-and-forth game, the Ospreys would add a penalty in the 67th minute to lead 20-17 but that would be as good as it got for the Ospreys as the Dragons scored their fourth try in the 69th minute which was also converted to lead 20-24. The Dragons then added another try in the75th minute that was again converted to make the score 20-31.

This was an undisciplined performance by the Ospreys and their defence went missing on several key occasions as they were repeatedly punished by the Dragons. Attention will now turn to Scotland and Scotstoun in particular as the Ospreys travel to face Glasgow knowing that anything less than a win will end their chances of a Rugby Champions Cup place next season.

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