Dragons 26 Ospreys 42

By Alex Bywater

Jonah Holmes again stated his case for Wales inclusion this summer as he made it 10 tries in his last nine games for Dragons, but it was not enough to give Dean Ryan’s men victory over the Ospreys.

Holmes scored twice in the first half, but poor discipline from Dragons proved costly at times as did their struggling set-piece. Ospreys made the hosts pay when they were a man light.

It means it’s now back-to-back defeats for Dragons after they started the Guinness PRO14 Rainbow Cup with a promising 52-point win over Scarlets.

Dragons lost replacement prop Josh Reynolds before kick-off after he suffered a back injury in the warm-up. The experienced Aaron Jarvis was the man to come in.

Gonzalo Bertranou was stopped in his tracks by Ospreys captain and Wales and British & Irish Lions flanker Justin Tipuric after Dragons won back their own kick-off.

Dragons were soon ahead. Sam Davies cross-kicked to Holmes who was fatally allowed to collect the ball by Dan Evans who then made a feeble attempt to tackle.

It allowed Holmes to continue his fine recent form and race to the line to score. Davies converted, but there was a concern for the home scrum which was sent into reverse on two occasions.

Luke Price kicked an Ospreys penalty and Tipuric played a successful captain’s challenge for a high Dragons tackle on Owen Watkin.

There was a Lions scare for Tipuric when he was upended by Taylor Davies and Dragons captain Aaron Wainwright in dangerous fashion. It was Taylor Davies who paid the price with a yellow card.

Tipuric seemed to have a word with his Wales colleague Wainwright, leaving him in no uncertain terms that he was unimpressed with the tackle.

Price cross-kicked to Dewi Cross in an attempt to make the most of the extra man, but Rio Dyer – who had earlier shown his pace with one run – got back to avert the danger.

Home prop Greg Bateman successfully stepped in as line-out thrower with Taylor Davies off the pitch. Minutes later, Cross was more successful.

He steamed over under the posts after a quick penalty and although the try was challenged by Wainwright, the score stood. Price improved the effort.

Dyer was removed from the fray for Richard Hibbard as the Dragons needed a hooker to fill Taylor Davies’ shoes, but he couldn’t stop the Ospreys from then making it two.

Morgan Morris was driven over, Price kicked the simple conversion and all of a sudden, the Dragons were struggling as Sam Davies put the restart out on the full. Price then kicked another penalty.

Dragons needed to score before the break and they did. Holmes finished it well, but the try was all about superb hands in attack from Josh Lewis and Aneurin Owen which created it.

Holmes’ pace meant he was never going to be stopped and Sam Davies converted with the last kick of the first half to leave Dragons six points adrift at the break.

The second half started with a Price penalty, Leon Brown – who had been struggling at the scrum – being substituted, and a yellow card for Ospreys hooker Sam Parry.

Former Osprey Dan Baker immediately crashed over and Sam Davies didn’t miss, but the tries kept coming. Next to score was Ospreys scrum-half Reuben Morgan-Williams who produced a moment of individual to score having picked up possession facing the wrong way.

Still, it was a poor try to concede from the Dragons’ perspective.

Price didn’t convert and both sides unloaded their benches in a messy third quarter which was dominated by kicking, replacements, and penalties.

The key moment then came in the 62nd minute. Quick Ospreys ball found its way to Evans who straightened the line and powered past Lewis for a bonus-point try.

Price’s kick made it 35-21 and Dragons were never going to come back from there.

Dyer did grab a late consolation for a four-try bonus point with Holmes the creator, but it couldn’t change the overall outcome and Max Nagy wrapped up victory for the Ospreys late on.



Tries: Holmes 3, 39, Baker 44, Dyer 72

Cons: S Davies 3, 40, 44



Tries: Cross 26, Morris 31, Morgan-Williams 46, Evans 62, Nagy 79

Cons: Price 27, 32, 63, 80

Pens: Price 12, 36, 41

Referee: Frank Murphy (IRFU)

Argus star man: Jonah Holmes (Dragons)