THE Dragons went from the derby highs of last season to a whitewash.

Dean Ryan's men were beaten by Cardiff Blues on Boxing Day, the Scarlets on New Year's Day and the Ospreys completed the set at Rodney Parade on Saturday evening.

It was a tight tussle in Newport with Dragons wing Jared Rosser and Ospreys full-back Mat Protheroe trading tries in the first half.

Wales wing George North scored a cracker for the men from the Liberty Stadium only for centre Jamie Roberts to respond with a trademark powerful finish.

It was level-pegging after 70 minutes but Stephen Myler booted the Ospreys in front and then Scott Otten scored from a driving lineout to seal the win.

Here are the talking points from the 28-20 defeat at Rodney Parade…

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Last season the Dragons beat the Scarlets at the death thanks to Sam Davies' drop goal then, after being edged out in Cardiff, they stunned the Ospreys with a late brace at a raucous Rodney Parade.

Ryan's team took nine points from a possible 15 in 2019/20 but this season it was just one.

Were they that much worse this season? Not dramatically so, although there was precious little in terms of entertainment in the first two parts of the trilogy.

Ryan said: "Last year was everything wonderful because we won two games in the last minute? Derbies are one-score games and we have to be better at making them come our way.

"We were quite fortunate last year in a couple, this year is our turn not to have that fortune go for us. We've got to try and take fortune out of it and be better."

Ryan said he was "proud" of his team in Llanelli yet was critical of them on Saturday when it was in fact a better performance, that highlights the frustration from being wasteful.

The Dragons suffered their first derby whitewash since 2017/18 yet it was the tepid performances against the Blues and a Scarlets side without their stars that was most annoying.


The Dragons started slowly and finished poorly, yet it will be the third quarter of the game that will be painful to watch in the debrief.

A breakdown penalty won by captain Harri Keddie, who was mightily impressive again, put them into the 22 and they then piled the pressure on.

It was a period that should have yielded points but chances were blown, poor choices were made.

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Jamie Roberts was making his presence felt from the very off, even though he wasn't near the ball.

"Discipline here, discipline here," he barked when the Dragons were defending a ruck just outside the Ospreys 22 in the first minute.

Roberts is a valuable talker out on the pitch but he's also producing the goods.

If age wasn't a consideration then the former Wales centre's performances would merit scratching out 'former' in the Six Nations.

The 34-year-old has been sensational and he is still causing mayhem with his trademark angled run – he does it so well it doesn't matter the opposition know it's coming.

Twice he went close against the Ospreys before he crashed over for a levelling score in the closing stages.

Roberts has been a revelation at Rodney Parade and hopefully a deal can be struck for him to stay in 2021/22.

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Roberts has been impressive yet I'd have him second on the podium for Dragons player of the season.

On top would be Harri Keddie, who has been an everpresent in the PRO14 and whose displays would be keeping Ross Moriarty out of the team if he was fit.

Keddie has prospered from a run of games and is proving to be a real all-rounder in the back row.

In midweek I amused Ryan by comparing the 24-year-old to John Wells, the Leicester stalwart who shone in the 1980s and 90s but never won a full England cap.

"That's a long way back to make a comparison to Harrison," he said. "I'd like to think there is someone else in the space in between!"

But the Ryan played against Wells, who shone next to the more lauded Neil Back and Dean Richards, so will appreciate it is very much a compliment.

Keddie is a grafter who makes others look good but it's his adaptability that has impressed this season.

He won't produce the same performance when joining forces with Huw Taylor and Aaron Wainwright as he would with Wainwright and Taine Basham.

Against the Ospreys he carried hard and led the tackle charts with 14 while he also came up with two big breakdown penalties.

Once again Keddie was in a losing side but his stock has risen in this derby period.