THE Dragons suffered a 29-20 defeat to the Ospreys in the Guinness PRO14. Here are the talking points from the clash at the Liberty Stadium…


Dan Evans was the victim of the signing of Lee Byrne in the summer of 2014 but being pushed out of the Dragons hasn’t worked out too badly for the 30-year-old.

The full-back was an excellent performer in his time at Rodney Parade, making 24 appearances in both his campaigns and filling in at fly-half when needed.

Lyn Jones made a call that hindsight shows was a shocker – Evans has gone on to make 132 Ospreys outings over five seasons.

Against the Dragons he became only the second Osprey to score four tries in a game, following Lions wing Tommy Bowe, and he moved into second behind Shane Williams in the region’s try charts, albeit his 40 is someway short of the 57 needed for top spot.

In a week where the talented Hallam Amos announced he was leaving the Dragons, a more solid performer showed once again that it was a bad error to let him head west from Rodney Parade.


Last season, with the Dragons not playing for anything, boss Bernard Jackman used the run-in to blood youngsters.

This term Ceri Jones is being hindered by the loss of key figures that means he has no option but to have too much youth on the pitch.

For Swansea he was without the injured Ryan Bevington, Elliot Dee, Aaron Jarvis, Cory Hill, Brandon Nansen, Lewis Evans, James Benjamin, Ollie Griffiths, Nic Cudd, Harri Keddie and Ashton Hewitt.

Leon Brown and Aaron Wainwright may be Test players but they are just 22 and 21.

The XV featured 20-year-old Max Williams, 19-year-old Taine Basham, 21-year-old Jared Rosser while the bench included 20-year-old Josh Reynolds and 20-year-old Lennon Greggains.

How Jones could do with a little more experience out there.

Free Press Series: BIG EFFORT: Ross MoriartyBIG EFFORT: Ross Moriarty


Ross Moriarty was immense in the Six Nations, showing for Wales what sadly he hasn’t quite shown for the Dragons since signing from Gloucester.

The back row forward has been solid enough, but that isn’t what was hoped for given the substantial wages being paid for the Lions tourist.

Yesterday he made his ninth Dragons appearance – drawing level with the nine Tests he has played this season – and he didn’t just phone it in after his Grand Slam heroics.

Moriarty provided the aggression that Ceri Jones’ side needed, carrying hard with the precious little ball that they had and making some telling blows in defence.

He may have a World Cup on the horizon but first the world class number eight has a big role to play in helping the Dragons end their away hoodoo in South Africa.


With 37 per cent possession and 29 per cent territory, the Dragons were never likely to take the spoils even with the Ospreys’ generosity with interceptions.

Against Ulster it was 43 per cent possession and 40 territory. Against Benetton it was 27 and 22, against Edinburgh it was 33 and 30, against Munster it was 34 and 35, against the Scarlets it was 28 and 24, against the Ospreys in Newport it was 28 and 25.

The last time that the Dragons had the better of things was their spirited effort against the odds at the Arms Park when they had 61 per cent possession and 60 per cent territory.

Stats never tell the whole story but the Dragons are not a side with the ability to soak up the pressure.

At the Ospreys they struggled at the scrum with Leon Brown beaten by fellow Wales international Nicky Smith, preventing them from getting a foothold.

If they are to end the away hoodoo in South Africa then they have to show more control and keep the Cheetahs and Kings at arm’s length. The stats have to be more even.

Free Press Series: CLASS ACT: Hallam AmosCLASS ACT: Hallam Amos


Hallam Amos has, injury permitting, just three games left of his Dragons career and they need to make the most of him.

The region haven’t got the ball in his hands enough in recent seasons and the Wales international would have watched Cardiff Blues’ dashing performance with excitement on Friday night when they demolished the Scarlets.

At the Liberty Stadium he snaffled an interception try when operating from the wing and then made a few lively breaks from centre after Tyler Morgan’s injury.

Perhaps 13, where he played at Connacht last autumn, is the place for him in the PRO14 run-in with the ability to have more touches.

One thing is for sure, Amos is a class act and the Dragons’ loss is Cardiff’s gain.