Pro14: Dragons 23-22 Ospreys

By Gareth GriffithsBBC Sport Wales at Rodney Parade
Dragons hooker Elliot Dee forces his way over for a try
Dragons hooker Elliot Dee forces his way over for a try
Guinness Pro14: Dragons v Ospreys
Dragons (13) 23
Tries: Rosser, Dee Cons: J Lewis 2 Pens: J Lewis 2, Tovey
Ospreys (6) 22
Try: Tipuric Con: S Davies Pens: S Davies 5

Jason Tovey's late penalty helped Dragons defeat a Welsh region in the Pro14 for the first time in four years.

A spectacular solo try from Dragons wing Jared Rosser handed the hosts a seven-point half-time advantage.

Hooker Elliot Dee added another to give Dragons a 20-9 advantage but a try from captain Justin Tipuric and 17 points from Sam Davies brought Ospreys back.

Fly-half Davies had a 79th-minute penalty kick to win the match but hooked it just wide of the far post.

Dragons had suffered 23 league losses against rival Welsh regions, with their last triumph coming at Cardiff Blues on Boxing Day 2014.

Sunday's victory at Rodney Parade was based on dynamic defence led by Wales flanker Aaron Wainwright as Ospreys were held to just one try despite territory and possession dominance.

It was a first win for caretaker coach Ceri Jones, who is in temporary charge as the region try to find a successor for the departed Bernard Jackman.

The hosts were again without British and Irish Lions back-row Ross Moriarty with concussion, while Wales back Tyler Morgan was also still absent despite returning to training.

Prop Lloyd Fairbrother was another missing after being banned for three weeks having being sent off against Cardiff Blues last week.

But the Dragons pack, containing former Ospreys props Aaron Jarvis and Ryan Bevington, won an early scrum penalty which was slotted by Josh Lewis.

The Dragons fly-half doubled the lead after Ospreys were caught offside, before opposite number Davies reduced the deficit.

Ospreys almost scored the first try with a break from flanker Olly Cracknell, but the try-scoring pass was intercepted and knocked on by Hallam Amos with referee Dan Jones deeming it a legitimate attempt and only awarding a scrum.

Fly-half Sam Davies missed a late penalty that would have given Ospreys victory
Fly-half Sam Davies missed a late penalty that would have given Ospreys victory

It proved a pivotal moment in the first half because the Dragons went the length of the field to score a spectacular breakaway try.

A clearing kick from scrum-half Rhodri Williams bounced inches inside the touchline between full-back Dan Evans and wing Luke Morgan, and Rosser pounced on the mix-up to sprint away to score a converted try.

Davies kicked two more penalties either side of half-time to reduce the hosts' advantage to 13-9.

Dragons continued to kick behind Morgan and when they forced a penalty deep in the visitors' territory, opted to go for a try rather than take the kick.

That was vindicated as Wales hooker Dee crashed over, with Lewis converting.

Davies kicked his fourth penalty after Samoa second-row Brandon Nansen was penalised for an illegal tackle.

Breaks from George North and Dan Evans set up further Ospreys opportunities, but the visitors proved wasteful in attacking situations against dogged Dragons defence.

But the home side eventually cracked and it was the outstanding Cracknell who shipped a scoring pass to fellow flanker Tipuric.

Davies converted and kicked his fifth penalty to give Ospreys the lead for the first time in the 70th minute.

Dragons roared back and Tovey restored the lead just moments after coming on for Lewis,

Davies had the chance to win it in the penultimate minute but pulled his kick wide as he missed for the first time in the game and the Dragons crowd at last celebrated a major home victory at Rodney Parade.

Dragons caretaker coach Ceri Jones said: "It was a big defensive display, the boys played for each other and there was huge heart.

"It was a great kick from Jason Tovey. It is always easier when you win. I am just here to do a job as caretaker coach until after the Scarlets match (on 5 January).

"The win is down to the players and I could not be more proud of them."

Ospreys head coach Allen Clarke said: "We have to look at our own accuracy. We created loads of opportunities and we are frustrated we did not take them.

"All credit to the Dragons because they fought for everything. We probably created enough chances to win two games of rugby but are here now on the back of a defeat.

"The Dragons were always going to beat somebody. You are obviously disappointed to be the head coach of the team they beat."

Dragons: Zane Kirchner; Jared Rosser, Adam Warren, Jarryd Sage, Hallam Amos; Josh Lewis, Rhodri Williams; Ryan Bevington, Elliot Dee, Aaron Jarvis, Brandon Nansen, Matthew Screech, Cory Hill (capt), Aaron Wainwright, Harrison Keddie.

Replacements: Richard Hibbard, Gerard Ellis, Dan Suter, Lewis Evans, James Benjamin, Tavis Knoyle, Jason Tovey, Jordan Williams

Ospreys: Dan Evans; George North, Scott Williams, Owen Watkin, Luke Morgan; Sam Davies, Aled Davies; Gareth Thomas, Scott Baldwin, Tom Botha, Adam Beard, Alun Wyn Jones, Olly Cracknell, Justin Tipuric (capt), James King.

Replacements: Scott Otten, Rhodri Jones, Alex Jeffries, Lloyd Ashley, Sam Cross, Tom Habberfield, Luke Price, Cory Allen.

Referee: Daniel Jones (WRU)

AR1: Ben Whitehouse (WRU). AR2: Wayne Davies (WRU).

TMO: Sean Brickell (WRU)

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