Ospreys keep Welsh Shield hopes alive with bonus-point win over Dragons
Ospreys kept alive their hopes of winning the Welsh Shield with a 37-18 bonus-point win over ill-disciplined Dragons.
The visitors lost Ross Moriarty to a yellow card and then Sio Tomkinson to a red one, both for dangerous challenges on young fly-half Jack Walsh who was forced to leave the game after failing a HIA.
Ospreys’ victory sees them lie five points behind Cardiff with each having two games remaining, one of which is a fixture between the sides.
Nicky Smith, Dan Lydiate, Morgan Morris, Iestyn Hopkins and Keiran Williams scored tries for Ospreys with Walsh kicking two penalties and a conversion. Luke Scully added two conversions.
Angus O’ Brien and Will Reed each kicked a penalty for Dragons with Jordan Williams scoring a try. They were also awarded a penalty try.
Ospreys began strongly to take a ninth-minute lead. A well-worked lineout move involving Sam Parry and Ethan Roots put the visitors’ defence on the back foot with Smith capitalising by powering over from close range.
Walsh converted and added a penalty as Dragons continued to get on the wrong side of referee Jaco Peyper.
It took the Gwent region 20 minutes to reach the opposition 22 but on doing so they picked up their first points with a penalty from Reed.
Ospreys responded with a second penalty from Walsh after he was tackled by prop Lloyd Fairbrother without having the ball.
Minutes later, Walsh was on the receiving end of a late challenge from Moriarty, which saw the Dragons’ flanker sin-binned and immediately the hosts looked to have capitalised.
Former Dragon Sam Parry crashed over from a driving line-out but TMO replays showed that the hooker had lost possession before grounding.
However, Dragons soon suffered another two blows in quick succession. First they lost number eight Ollie Griffiths with a shoulder injury before Lydiate finished off a round of passing before O’Brien kicked a long-range penalty to leave his side trailing 18-6 at the interval.
Two minutes after the restart, Moriarty returned in time to see Morris take advantage of some weak defence from the visitors to score before Tomkinson was sent off for a high tackle in the same passage of play.
Iestyn Hopkins walked over for Ospreys’ fifth before Dragons showed some spirit with a try from Jordan Williams but the relief was short-lived as Keiran Williams raced 45 metres to score his side’s fifth.
Dewi Lake collected a yellow card for a high challenge on Bradley Roberts before Alun Wyn Jones departed on what may have been his last appearance for Ospreys on their home ground.
Dragons picked up a late penalty try with Gareth Thomas yellow-carded for collapsing the maul but the home side were convincing winners.
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