It was a superb end to a great second half that was end-to-end stuff after a poor opening period. Dragons stand-off Jason Tovey booted 11 points, with Ospreys counterpart Matthew Morgan contributing five penalties for a 15 point haul. The Dragons went into the break 9-6 ahead as Tovey, who had recovered from a miserable night against the Scarlets last week, landed three penalties against two from Morgan. But the game by then was only noteworthy for three yellow cards dished out by referee James Jones rather than for any threats on the try-line. Then, with just a few minutes to go before half-time, Jones handed out two more yellow cards.
Home wing Tonderai Chavhanga earned himself 10 minutes on the sidelines for a deliberate knock-on and Ospreys flanker Tom Smith killed the ball when he did not need to, saw yellow, and heard the home crowd roar Tovey’s third penalty success as the half ended.
However, where the first half was a squib, the second period was pulsating.
Morgan kicked a penalty to level but a double strike from the home side took them clear. A great multi-handed move, that criss-crossed the pitch, finished with wing Will Harries passing to Thomas on the right touchline, and the full-back cut inside to beat three defenders for the try.
Two minutes later, Lewis Robling intercepted and raced 48 metres under the posts, with Tovey converting easily. It put the Dragons 21-9 ahead and in the driving seat. But urged on by their animated coach Scott Johnson on the side, the Ospreys dug in and gave themselves a chance of taking the honours at the death. Morgan added two penalties and, with 16 minutes still to go, the visitors were back within a converted try of victory. Biggar missed the crucial conversion from wide out and then could not believe it when his well-struck drop goal attempt hit an upright.
Scorers: Dragons: Tries: M. Thomas, Robling. Cons: Tovey. Pens: Tovey 3. Ospresy: Tries: Bowe. Pens: Morgan 4, Biggar.
Dragons: M. Thomas, Harries, Brew, A. Smith, Chavhanga, Tovey, W. Evans, N. Williams, S. Jones, Buck, A. Jones, Sidoli, Lydiate, L. Evans, Faletau. Subs: Robling for A. Smith (22), M. Jones for Tovey (75), Bedford for W. Evans (77), Buckley for S. Jones (64), Way for Buck (66), Groves for A. Jones (79), Waters for L. Evans (72). Ospreys: B. Davies, E. Walker, Isaacs, Beck, Dirkson, Morgan, Webb, D. Jones, Bennett, Jarvis, R. Jones, Evans, Smith, Tipuric, Bearman. Subs: Bowe for E. Walker (70), Biggar for Morgan (61), Fotuali’i for Webb (55), James for D. Jones (50), Hibbard for Bennett (50), A. Jones for Jarvis (50), J. Thomas for Evans (43), Stowers for Bearman (58).
Referee: J Jones (Wales). Attendance: 6,897