Rio Dyer scores brace as Dragons down Ospreys in derby thriller
Flying wing Rio Dyer scored two tries as Dragons won a thrilling Welsh derby with a 32-25 United Rugby Championship victory over Ospreys at Rodney Parade.
There will be few better games this season as the sides provided marvellous entertainment, despite both having to play with 13 men at certain stages.
Bradley Roberts and Aaron Wainwright were also on Dragons’ try-scoring sheet, while there was also a penalty try award with JJ Hanrahan adding a penalty and a conversion.
George North, Scott Baldwin and Owen Watkin scored Ospreys’ tries with Jack Walsh adding two penalties and two conversions.
It took Ospreys just 37 seconds to open the scoring when Walsh sailed through a huge gap in the home defence before sending North away on a 30-metre run to the line.
Walsh converted from the touchline before adding a 40-metre penalty but his side suffered an injury blow when Wales international hooker Dewi Lake left the field with a shoulder injury.
Hanrahan put Dragons on the scoreboard with a straightforward penalty before they scored an excellent try.
A well-timed pass from Sam Davies sent Steff Hughes tearing into the opposition 22 and when the ball was recycled, Wainwright was on hand to crash over.
Ospreys’ response was swift as replacement hooker Baldwin was able to finish off a series of driving line-outs for the visitors’ second try.
Ospreys looked in control but three minutes before the interval, the scenario changed dramatically.
First their number eight Morgan Morris was yellow-carded for a deliberate offside and then – from the resulting line-out – a penalty try was awarded to Dragons with Adam Beard joining Morris in the sin-bin for collapsing the drive.
After the restart, Dragons missed a golden opportunity to take the lead for the first time when Davies split the 13-man defence to send Jack Dixon over but the centre was prevented from grounding.
However it mattered little as two minutes later, Roberts sneaked over from close-range for their third try before Morris was able to return.
Beard was still in the bin when Dragons expertly took advantage of their numerical dominance by spinning the ball wide for Dyer to evade the cover defence.
Beard’s return coincided with the introduction of Justin Tipuric and Nicky Smith as replacements in an attempt to reverse Ospreys’ fortunes.
A penalty from Walsh kept them in contention but then Dragons missed another superb opportunity to put the game to bed.
From inside the 22, Dyer raced away on a 70-metre run but the hosts could not convert a clear overlap with Wainwright dragged down just short.
With seven minutes remaining, Dragons lost replacements Sean Lonsdale and Elliot Dee to the sin-bin but immediately Dyer intercepted to race 55 metres and seal victory before a late try from Watkin earned Ospreys a bonus point.
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