Ross Harries presents live coverage from Rodney Parade as Ospreys take on Dragons in the Pro12. Studio guests are Jonathan Davies, Martyn Williams and Sean Holley.
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2017 has arrived and we are at Rodney Parade for the last of the
festive derbies. The weather did its best to put paid to the game but
these fans kept the faith and will be getting their rugby fix. The
Dragons new years resolution is a simple one. To bring a ten game
losing streak against the Ospreys to an end. COMMENTATOR: Here is Giles.
He will go all the way for a try. On his inside is Dan Evans he has done
it again. And Rhys Webb makes absolutely sure. He gets over.
Hello and welcome to a rather wet and spongy Rodney Parade. I am
delighted to say the New Year derby is going ahead. A happy New Year to
you at home, a bit of drama here in the last couple of hours because we
have had endless pitch inspections. A lot of confusion as to whether the
game would go ahead. Both coaches have been lobbying the referee and
you don't need to be a body language expert to find out what Steve is
like that Micra say in there. They didn't want to play, it is difficult
coming to Rodney Parade anyway. No matter where the Dragons are in the
table. They know that, it is a leveller today, the game is on. They
need a good mindset to do the job. Deja vu, five years ago we fill for
an hour and a quarter and the game was called off eventually. What is
in the minds of the players, they come here and wait for a couple of
hours, do they just want to get on the bus and go home? The backs
proverb we will. They will be complaining in the changing rooms.
As a player, you want to play. There is nothing worse than a game being
called off. They have prepared and had a quiet last few days in
preparation for this. You can see both sides of the argument today but
if there's any chance of the game going ahead, it has to go ahead both
sets of coaches were letting their opinions be known to the referee as
he was conducting his pigeon section. I think they were both
after different outcomes, C what they say. Steve, happy New Year. The
game goes ahead, are you happy it's going ahead? We definitely want to
play the game. We have some concerns about the condition and safety but
the referee feels it is playable, we are ready to go. You'll grow what
are those concerns? The ground, the water is clearing up. There is an
inconsistency in the conditions and turning the pages of an acceptable
standard. Happy New Year, we have just had Steve Tandy here, and
saying the pitch is not of an acceptable standard to play, what
are your thoughts? The standing water has gone, not a problem. The
referee says it is playable, let's have a game. It will be a tough game
and a tough battle, physical. But we are looking forward to getting on
and starting the New Year well. Kingsley Jones and his team ready to
go. The interesting thing about this, the Ospreys are defending a
proud record against a fellow Welsh regions, 27 of the last 29 games won
against Welsh opposition. The weather is a leveller. That is what
makes the Ospreys so impressive, they can win in different ways. But
if it becomes an arm wrestle, you have guys like Alun Wyn Jones, Paul
James, they want to play open and expansive rugby but it doesn't
matter what the conditions are for the Ospreys. An all-weather team,
proved by the statistics. A school more tries from their own half than
any team in the league but also the most suffocating and brutal defence.
They have a was a good defence but since Brad Davis has arrived, they
have taken it up a notch. Watch them on Samson Lee here. Two tat was
looking to knock him down and lurking in the back field is Justin
Tipuric. They look to hold him as well. -- this is a ploy to get more
turnover. At the technique of Baker. But for the Dragons, there are signs
of improvement. A little off-load out the back, connecting players.
The Dragons need to get their best ball carriers on the ball. Morgan is
one of those, Jackson at eight another. They can go forward and get
some field position and then they can bring the likes of young Aston,
much talked about but this fella can score tries in all conditions. Let's
look out for him tonight. Another one, double carrying the ball is
Leigh Griffiths, the number seven. Set to be a battle royal between him
and the wily campaigner Justin Tipuric. Can't wait for this. You
relish these conditions as a seven. Justin Tipuric is arguably the most
talented player in Wells -- Wales. He has ball-in-hand, a skilful as it
comes. Up against Leigh Griffiths, who is the one player the Dragons
came away on Boxing Day with credit really. Reminds me of Sam Overton
when he was younger. Very good in attack. In these conditions it will
be a fascinating matchup. Wheel were hoping the Giles but he hasn't been
selecting this week. But you mentioned Ashton Hewitt. Someone who
is a generally exciting talent. And some believe he is the fastest man
in Welsh rugby. In all conditions, his good two tries in the Challenge
Cup a couple of weeks ago in poor conditions. He has an all-around
game now. The Blues try to bring him in a little bit too much. Trying to
do too much and it cost them a bit. He is electric and gets on the end
of things. He makes things happen, much like Giles, who unfortunately
we will not see to night. Watch out for him tonight in the tricky
conditions. You have great kickers in the Ospreys team who will test
him tonight. You will get a bit of pressure in the air. We talked about
the weather being a leveller, another thing that could have a
massive impact is the home fans are among the most passionate and
vociferous there are in the Pro12 championship. Phil Steele is amongst
them. Thank you very much. This is where it happens, the Hazel Terrace.
Death and has been standing on this Hazel Terrace for something like 12
years, what do you hope the crowd might do today? By Queen only do,
16th man, it is a great atmosphere in the Hazel Terrace. We love it,
rain or shine. The pitch isn't great today but we just hope we can get
six and six. Six from six would be something? Won definitely,
absolutely. It is what you accept an derby days. Hopefully, conditions
aren't great but hopefully we can spur the Dragons on for a win and
start 2017 with a bang. You are famous for your singing on the Hazel
Terrace. The big hit you hope to have into thousands of in his
stand-up for the men of Gwent song, was the chances of getting a
rendition before them they go out. Singing macro clear great atmosphere
here. Great fun in the middle of the Hazel stand. Do you want to give us
a verse as well? Beth and is confident, if you are a Dragons fan,
would you be confident? They have a good record at home. You look at the
team, the Ospreys have the talent, it will be difficult for the
Dragons. But conditions are a leveller but I fancy Ospreys to have
too much tonight. These games are running parade much closer than at
the liberty, the margin just seven points. So the crowd of the pitch to
make a difference. Dan Biggar is key to night. If he is on to night and
controls the game, the Ospreys will win. You get what you get from Alan
Wyn Jones and go, they will be giving up front but it is Dan Biggar
for me. You go back to the Boxing Day game, the Blues dominated the
Dragons physically. The Dragons pack will have to go up a notch to pull
off a win here. All of the ingredients are in place and the
game is going ahead despite doubts. The pitch is a little muddy but that
is Manna from Heaven for these forwards. Alan Wyn Jones leading the
Ospreys out onto the Rodney Parade pitch and we go and join the
commentators, Jonathan Davies and Gareth Giles. COMMENTATOR: Thank you
very much indeed. You see them running over the muddy patches
earlier, Paul James and Scott Baldwin, starting on the front row
for the Ospreys. Olly Cracknell at six, James King moves over to number
eight. The Ospreys persist with both Dan Biggar and Sam Davies in the
starting line-up. Sam Davies at full-back. A late change sees ducks
and on the wing. Howells has injured a hamstring. A great day for sevens
in this kind of weather, if you are a particular kind seven. And those
forwards are going to have a big influence on proceedings. That far
side of the pitch that the players run out from the tunnel is the muddy
ester part and down the middle as well. Lewis Evans having a late word
with the Dragons, a lot of it is about mindset as well. It was so
late getting a firm decision on the game. I then think it will be a
classic to night, it will be a dogfight to be honest. It is all
down to mental toughness it. Ospreys clearly want to play but they have
the mental toughness and know the job is to be done and get back on
the bus and start again. For me, the pitch is bad compared to other
pitches. But if you play against old Parish, even the old Cardiff Arms
Park they have had worse conditions than this so just get on with it you
know. Completely different to the Arms Park, Ed Jackson is an
important ball-carrier. Griffiths can measure himself against Justin
Tipuric. Sam Baird in the centre. And the impressive Ashton Hewitt on
the wing. Not the best of nights for windows though. -- winners.
Ian Davies was the man who made the ultimate decision and took his time
about it. The awful pitching sections. A lot of pressure coming
from the Ospreys not to play the game. He has said player safety is
paramount. We will see how it goes. The kicking game will be very
instrumental in today's conditions. Hoping for a good game. Sam Davies.
We will see how the ball goes off the surface. Dan Biggar beforehand
throwing the ball up and seeing their reaction as it plopped into
the ground. Sam Davies looking for a bit of grass and finding. His
opposite number. Angus O'Brien drilling it back down to Dan Biggar.
, A on halfway. Dan Evans. Playing on the wing as he does like Sam
Davies. Occupying the 15 shirt. Matavesi with the tackle. That is
going to be a problem keeping hold of the slippery ball when the big
hits come in. That is the dodgy part of the ground. A lot of sand has
gone on it as well beforehand. The Ospreys players are standing deep,
the dink over the top is an for the Dragons. As you can imagine, there
will be a lot of kicking in this game, as we have seen in the first
minute and a half. Chance to run that time, Dan Evans at Sam Davies.
Those shirts are not going to be white for very long. Taken by
Harris. And dumped right into the advertising hoardings as well. A
very good tackle, lined him up and nailed him. Running across the
field, nothing wrong with that tackle. This is old school tonight.
Big hit. A few isolated patches move the scrum. I think there are
beauties there, looking to kick early on but for me, the Ospreys
with a couple of overlap opportunities already. The mindset
is all about kicking and getting field position. Leigh Griffiths
again in midfield, looking to hand off to Dan Biggar. Griffiths has got
in their faces in the first couple of minutes. As an Ospreys player,
you know the Dragons will come. You have to take the heat out a little
bit. Quite the crowd down and get on with their job. If you are Dragons
player, you just have to keep that momentum as much as you can.
Good work, both on to tackle. Lost his support runners.
He's played half the games at six and half at seven this season.
He needs to get some want to chase that. And then you can see they are
just giving field position away, that is the problem.
Just got to keep your calm. An opportunity for the Dragons there.
I'd like to have seen Morgan do a bit more here. He gets the ball.
Here is the intercept. Put his head down. You're thinking, he's got to
run straight at Davies and then out. He doesn't defend even, he's got the
ball in the right hand but unfortunately he doesn't defend.
Just watch. Inside, outside and he didn't even fend him. He missed.
Lloyd Ashley at the Dragons' ten metre line, you can just make out.
Jones driven back in the tackle. Scott Baldwin... That's a good pass.
Sam Davies, quick hands to Dirksen. The Ospreys making light of the
conditions. Paul James... Doing the basic stuff you'd expect. They
certainly haven't changed their style, the Ospreys. A style that has
brought them eight bonus points this season. It's not that bad, really.
Again, the numbers are there. It's just the execution of the past
thing. A couple of Dragons players ran up... You've just got to be
aware of that and hit the right runner. He's taken the dummy runner
out. If you get a guy going behind him, there's opportunities there.
Just be careful... York pulling players your own side in the tackle
there. You can't place them there, all right? Cory Hill, three caps
during the autumn series. Australia, Japan and South Africa. He has
plenty of experience in the Ospreys line-up. Paul James on Scott Baldwin
in the front row, Alun Wyn Jones in the second row. Tipuric in the
second row. These conditions won't faze those players at all. They'll
relish it. The Dragons have started better than they did on Boxing Day.
They were outmuscled. So far they've stood up to the physicality of the
Ospreys. Carl Meyer... Great pace from
Hewitt! Superb tackle by Sam Davies. He's good, isn't he? He's very, very
quick. The acceleration there. He uses the touch as an extra defender
makes a tackle. Very good work by Sam Davies. Hewitt could easily have
got away from him. But he is an exciting talent, Ashton Hewitt. 21
last month. Looking forward to that battle between Ashton Hewitt and
Ciaran Giles but Giles is being well-managed by the Ospreys at the
moment. Jonathan? There's the dummy runner. He's taken it out. What
happens then, you know he's coming in there. Just seeing the overlap
there. Sam Davies comes in short. You pick up the bridge defender.
You've got three men outside... Davies calls four and is awarded a
clean catch. The attacking coach... He's going to pick that up. He's
been prepared to run at the back of the Ospreys from those long kicks.
Tipuric! He is too quick! That's a great counterattack from the
Ospreys. Tom Habberfield starting it but who better than Justin Tipuric
to finish it? Brilliant. Got to make those tackles if you are in the
Dragons but I think a man has gone down injured. He goes in... He falls
off the tackle. Off-loads him. Too much space, too much speed. Lovely,
lovely try by the Ospreys. Something from nothing. Cannot miss the
tackle. Cracknell... It was good play by Cracknell. He created a
space for Tipuric to come through. Great combination for the two
flankers. It is basic stuff but he took the outside shoulder, but the
ball back inside... He had got the smack in the face. Just had to hold
on and complete the tackle. Daniel Biggar supplies the extras! The
Ospreys on the board first. They'll be disappointed, the Dragons. They
having created anything. The defence has been good until this
opportunity. An missed tackle. That is why the Ospreys are so good. One
opportunity, very clinical. James King underneath the restart. Sam
Davies appears that time and that gives Biggar the option. The New
Zealander with the kick downfield and Jackson with the return.
O'Brien, straightout Sam Davies and he spots a big gap there. Doesn't
quite find him as he would have liked. Looks for the far corner,
that's where he aims his kick. Hewitt and Meyer back there. The
South African born full-back does the necessary. So much talk about
the kicking back and the aerial battle and the exit strategy. It's
basically kicking. In a nutshell. They are winning the aerial battle
because they are just getting a better distance on it. They are
finding the grass rather than the player. They are putting the
pressure on the Dragons players and have made a couple of errors kicking
it straight in. They have done well, the Dragons.
Pulling the drive down very, very quickly. Good awareness from Pat
Howard. That allowed him to go for the mark.
Off the top from Ashley. Smart call from the Ospreys. Easy call.
I have a feeling they been told to play it.
The most instant or player on the field so far is Sam Davies. Good
kicking game. And then he is like a second eight. Hewitt. Still going,
Ashton Hewitt. Just looking for the off-load. There goes on oil. Great
thinking from him. Keeping the tempo going. They weren't back ten, this
could be yellow. He's trying to slow the ball down. He has ten minutes in
the bin. He didn't think so. That should have been a yellow for
Derksen. So deliberate that is and that is similar again, deliberate.
Negative he said. Instead of blood. Negative play. The hardest position
to cover as well, scrum-half. Ospreys have the ball anyway.
He's has settled into play nine. Number nines are usually chirpy.
Going for Justin Tipuric. you love this though, he will love
this. You've got to put it in straight here. Put a bit of pressure
on him. Tipuric did well. Shows how important opensides are in the
scrummage. A lot of credit to James King as well. The scrums have been
fairly even in the first 20 minutes. That is good work. He realised he
was on the back foot straightaway, picked it up as quickly as he
possibly could. Quite a few line-outs. Too many
errors now by Dragons. It is costing them. A good pass to Dan Evans.
Spotted the big gap there. Sam Davies gets across. Not quite
running freely, Dan Biggar. Got to get closer to the line, the chase.
If you Ospreys, 14 men, for Dragons, you got to try to keep the ball in
play and test the Ospreys. Dan Evans will take those all night.
There is a mindset now, that the conditions are so bad that they have
do tick all the time and I don't think that is the case. They have a
variety of kickers, the Ospreys. Dan Evans, Sam Davies. They are coming
out on top because of it. What is the record on kicks? I'm just
thinking generally, in a game. It is quite poor from the Ospreys, down to
14, the scrum-half normally goes in front of the line, at least try a
little chip to expose them in some area. The Ospreys will be very happy
with that, killed three off it three or four minutes just by kicking. Is
songs of praise on the other side? Can they put somebody around the
fringes now. Tie up the Ospreys defenders, they are being driven
towards the touchline. He's the same as us, he has no idea whether ball
is. Lewis Evans at Tipuric. They have slowed it down now. Got the
defensive line in place. There is Baldwin and Cracknell waiting for
him. Cory Hill. Davies looks to link up with
Matavesi. Another one on the way. Good pick-up
eventually by Dan Biggar, sensibly done. Sam Davies looks at the far
corner. Tipuric is screaming on this side. He was not happy, there was a
five-man overlap there the Ospreys. The kicking game may be working but
there are times you have to keep your wits about you as well. They
had so many on the near side here. Actually a good kick from Sam Davies
in the end to put them under pressure.
Cracknell spills it. Again, we want is even keeping ball-in-hand. You'll
macro two passes, you've advantage, two passes and if it doesn't get
anywhere, you have a scrum. They've got the extra man as well. The last
thing you want to do is put it off the park.
Not a great delivery from Sam Davies to Lloyd Ashley.
Tom Habberfield's time in the bin is almost up. About two minutes to go.
The Ospreys had a comfortable ride at 14 men. They are very comfortable
defensively, aren't they? Oh Brian... -- oh O'Brien. Matavesi,
back inside for Sam Davies. If you're going to play the ball, play
the ball! Don't go down there for a rest, please.
Fia over the ball but making no attempt to play the ball. A superb
kick. They need to come away with something, the Dragons. The last
chance for the Ospreys, back to 15 men. I'm not sure the selection of
Sam Davies full-back and Dan Evans on the wing, I'm not sure that's
working. I understand the need for a kicking game in these conditions.
Steve Tandy the manager knows better I suppose. Price keeps it alive.
Lewis Evans alongside him. It's going to be a terribly slow ball.
That's disappointing for the Dragons. Tom Habberfield can now
come back on. Fill it with Kingsley Jones. You just said fair it's
important you scored with the one-man strong, how concerning is
that you didn't? We are not accurate enough. At this level when you get
opportunities you have to take them. A lot of good play going to get in
there but not clinical enough unfortunately on this occasion.
You're kicking quite a bit, is that part of the plan? We know the
Ospreys kicked the ball more than most. You've got to stay in a
kicking battle. In conditions like today you've got to try and
counterattack from deep and then you get the rewards with a penalty or
turnover. We are conscious of that and need to get to the right areas
and be patient. You probably can't glean it from up here on the country
but at pitch side there is a bit of a wind that the Ospreys have got at
the moment so that might help the Dragons are bit in the second half.
Great work by Griffith. Hacked through... This is one of these grey
areas where sometimes you see players get penalised for it. He's
made the tackle, got back to his feet and played the ball. There's no
ruck being formed. You've got to have a go here. I can't see a
scoring spree today so you've just got to stay in the game. We've come
in a bit too late here. Didn't look like there was any ruck above the
tackle. Ollie Griffiths in his rise to get up and play the ball.
Interesting to hear Kingsley's strategy about kicking back to the
Ospreys and running back at them. The Dragons have made almost 300.
100 of those almost coming from Carl Meyer. That's just running back and
then kicking it. Drawn across the face by O'Brien.
The Dragons needed those. That's a big miss, isn't it? He's just
finished work for the year, hasn't he?! On his way back.
The other one just needed pumping up a little bit. Happy with that one.
Maybe Angus O'Brien should have changed it before the kick. Meyer
again, returning. Jackson striving to get the ball to
ground. Tipuric again close to the offside line.
Sam Davies is the one to the left, Dan Biggar to the right. Nothing
happened really. It's been a huge kicking battle. Too many mistakes by
the Dragons. They haven't built any momentum because of errors. This
penalty will give the Ospreys field position. They haven't been in the
Dragons' half. For much of this first half... They mentioned last
week trying to keep the Blues on their 22 metre area. That is the
same with the Ospreys. That is poor from the Dragons. That is a nothing
kick. It's a very difficult kick to go either way in these conditions.
You've just got to load the touchline. Someone should have taken
that. It's a very difficult kick. I decide, right in the centre field.
-- either side. King takes the line-out. Lewis Evans...
Dislodging it from Baldwin's grasp, Sam Beard. Sam Beard was three
seasons with Edinburgh. Pat Howard trying to take up the
field and Biggar with him. Knoyle just finding Sam Davies...
For a change, Dan Evans doesn't go... He just got bored of it! He
thought I'm bored of it, I'll have a run here! It's either boredom or
he's embarrassed. Good pressure from the Dragons. Even Hanno Dirksen's
kicking it now! O'Brien, trying to go the long way round.
They've got to hang on in, the Dragons, in this battle. Like an arm
wrestle. He had just the one league game with
the Ospreys in 2008-2009. Cracknell again involved. Baldwin...
Paul James... The Ospreys are giving away far less
ball than the Dragons. You can just sense we are one score again, ten
points, in these conditions. Possibly a big margin.
Good leg drive from Jackson. Gained few extra metres. O'Brien couldn't
go straight to touch. Finding the play, the full-back, again. One for
Biggar to chase. Nicely picked up by Meir. Perfectly from O'Brien's
little side foot. Dirksen getting the wrong side of the ruck. No
advantage coming to the Dragons. Just a minute and a half of the
first period remaining. The Dragons have had few
opportunities to break the duck. Hewitt tries one way, then the
other. I think, a good line-out... There will be one last chance, then,
for the Dragons to get on the school board. Before they head back to the
changing room -- scoreboard. So the clock goes red as the Dragons
try and end the half with their first points of the evening. Tab is
no oil has a look to see what the opportunities are. Nick Crosswell
takes it on. Poor execution. Griffiths keeps possession in
Dragons' hands. Jackson. Tyler Morgan... This is the longest
they've spent it the Ospreys 22. O'Brien to Pat Howard.
A loose pass, missed by everybody except James King for the Ospreys.
That'll do as far as the visitors are concerned. They've got the any
points of the first half. An excellent try from Justin Tipuric.
It was never going to be a try -fest in these conditions. Just the one in
the first. Opportunities limited for the Dragons. The Ospreys have done
what they need to. Sound defence, and the one chance they had, the man
in the blue cap finished it off, Justin Tipuric's try converted by
Dan Biggar, giving the Ospreys a lead of 7-0 at half-time. The
Dragons captain Lewis Evans is with Phil. How do you think the first
half went? Really good. I think you can see conditions dictating the way
both sides are playing. Still a kicking battle. If we can start
playing a few more, we can start getting a few more points on the
board. How important is it you get the first core of the second half?
It is very important. We need to get one or two more foothold in the
game. Not make some silly errors. The game's there for us. Thanks the
time, have a good orange! STUDIO: All the talk before the match was
about the weather. Lots of rain at Rodney Parade nearly led to the game
being called off. After pitch inspections that was back on and the
Ospreys started the brighter. Tom Habberfield swivelling out of the
tackle. Lovely link Blake from Cracknell and Tipuric proving too
fast for the defence. That was the only score of the first half.
Habberfield later saw a yellow but the Ospreys abide that period
without conceding any points. -- survived that period.
Not much time spent in the Ospreys' 22, the Dragons that is. It does
tales with the fact they pride themselves on not only not allowing
opposition across the try line but into the 22. The Scarlets spent 20
seconds in the Ospreys' 22 last week. If you are a stats man, a lot
of tries conceded from within your own 22 in the second phase. They do
pride themselves, they've got a big kicking game, they tried to get out
of their own territory and they've succeeded in that in the first. A
lot of kicking but the Ospreys have more kickers and kickers. We said at
the top of the programme, the average winning margin in this game
at Rodney Parade is seven points. It's currently 7-0 so sticking to
tradition. It was always going to be tight. Conditions are tough. Safety
first from both teams. It's a tight game. Newport Gwent Dragons don't
help themselves. They make so many basic errors. It doesn't allow them
to build any pressure on the Ospreys. So many basic errors, just
take the pressure of the Ospreys. It's a very even match. One chance
from the Ospreys and they've taken that try. A case in point, ten
minutes when Habberfield was in the bin. When the Dragons did get an
opportunity with an attacking line-out, they ended up turning the
ball over. It's the type of kicks as well. They find the grass, well, the
mud. It takes the sting out of any counterattack. It takes time out of
the game. Good aerial assault. It gives them time. They are very
clever at that. When you've got Dan Evans on the wing, Sam Davies,
Matavesi, even Hanno Dirksen boss kicking the ball. There's a lot of
kicking options there and do good chase line. -- even Dirksen was
kicking the ball. Martin mentioned opportunities in games like these
are few and far between. The Ospreys have had one and a ticket. -- they
take it. It was a great bit of play from Habberfield. Look where
Habberfield comes from. Out of nowhere. It's a second line of chase
that's very important. It's great support play. He's got lots of
options. I like what Cracknell does. He takes the last defender O'Brien
is likely to the left and you're not going to catch Justin Tipuric. It's
good smash and grab plague that you need when you're away from home. All
instigated by an organised kicking Chase -- smash and grab plague. Is
there anything he can't do? That is the quality they have got.
That is what the Dragons like. He's a world-class player that is what we
hear every week, they work on it in pre-season, almost following the New
Zealand way. The front five and the back row all as comfortable as the
backs with ball-in-hand. It is important in these conditions, the
little rugby we have seen, the quality has come from Ospreys. Even
the hard yards and the short carries. They get to the gain line,
they forced the defensive line back. It takes its toll in the end. We saw
the Scarlets over Christmas, it takes its toll later in the game
with the bench that Steve has picked as well. Dragons are by no means out
of this. The missed penalty by Angus O'Brien, that was a big blow, 7-3
gives you something to feed on. They get a score first after half-time,
they are back in this, if the Ospreys go to macro schools in
front, it would be difficult to pull back. The ball has seen a lot of
air. It was even in the first 1015 minutes but the Ospreys with the
range of kickers they have got are beginning to win that battle. They
kicked similar amount of time but with the Dragons, it has been
errors. A good clean ball, an exit strategy, the coach will be thumping
his head in the stand. This was a kick battle, the last of about eight
kicks, straight into touch. The Ospreys are more measured, they take
the ball to the line a little bit more. There's more distance and they
find the ground, look at many bounces it takes. Sam Davies pixies
head up and looks for the grass, nails it between the two centre
halves if you are a football fan. Look at the time and distance, it
all takes its toll and allows you to get your defensive chase and people
in position. The Ospreys sitting on a 7- 0/2-time lead, 40 more minutes
of rugby coming up in the festive derbies and there is a lot coming
your way in 2017. 20 16th of a fair share of surprises. Not just in the
rugby world. What might 2017 off? Can the Lions mauled the All Blacks
down under? How many Welsh men will make the tour? Will Wales recover
their swashbuckling ways in the Six Nations and the South Pacific? Our
most exciting talents, will they be given a chance to shine? What are
the prospects of a major trophy for the Welsh region? The prospects of a
trophy on looking good at the moment, over the season and 2017
will begin with two Welsh regions in the top four. If Ospreys win, they
will recover their second-place and the Scarlets beat the Blues earlier
this afternoon. 15-10 was the final score. Two tries from the Scarlets,
this was the best of them, Steph Evans with great build-up work and
Jonathan Davies with great awareness to the inside pass. The finish from
Scott Williams, his centre partner, they are back in the top four after
they dropped to six. The upshot is we have two Welsh sides in the top
four and that is pleasing. We might go to approach will find this year,
that is good. The Ospreys looked really strong. Home form and squad
form. Scarlets are some big game players, if they can keep everybody
fit, they can beat anyone on their day. It is about getting the
momentum in the second half of the season. It is looking good but
Glasgow are coming up the rails, Leinster and Munster are strong and
don't forget Ulster. Scarlets need to learn their lessons with a spent
the bulk of the season in the top four but slipped out at the end.
They got off to a flyer last season. Identify will make that mistake.
This time they started slowly but they seem to have got themselves
together. I think the Ospreys are the strongest Welsh region without
doubt because of the depth and the changes they can make. But the Six
Nations, can you keep that momentum going? The Welsh and Irish tunes,
when your stars go, can you keep your momentum going during the Six
Nations period? That will be upon us before we know it. Most of the
pundits are talking about an Anglo-Irish Six Nations and the
final game in Dublin being a champion to decide, is that
premature? It always is. That is one the Six Nations is a great
competition, it throws up surprises. If you look at it, of course in
glint and Ireland looked to be in the best vein of form. Especially
after the autumn and the success against the southern hemisphere.
Their key players are playing exceptionally well. I think England,
they have really improved. It is all about the axis of ten and 12. They
have got that sorted. Ben Youngs, sniping, maybe a bit different but
those are the two sides. The good thing is, Wales have them at home.
You get a good start in the Six Nations and then you can build
momentum and hopefully not get injuries. The Italian game is
crucial. We have to show willing and creativity and the clinical in the
tackle and put the Italians away. Then we can build from that.
Defensively, we can always improve and be strong but the first game,
get a good win. Bring the big boys back to principality Stadium. In
deed. We will catch up with you in the second half. Jonathan talking
about how England have their house in order and going for a second
consecutive Grand Slam. Wales often come good in the face of adversity.
The public were happy with the performances in the autumn. We need
to keep our main players injury free. The likes of Alan Wyn Jones,
Toby Faletau, if they are in the team, we have a chance against
anyone. If we win in Italy, I think we are too strong for the Italians,
the second game sets up the whole tournament. You go on autumn
international form, England are not far off untouchable but they are
beatable in Cardiff, no doubt. I'm looking forward to it already. The
Dragons are turning to the field. Martin said earlier that the Dragons
are still in this, a 7-point game, do you see the Ospreys being too
strong? I do. Steve has gone big and heavy again, it will take its toll
in the end. It is not getting any better, they will try and grind it
out. They have the firepower to score again and if they get the next
score, I think it will be a foregone conclusion. Martin on his way back
to the commentary box and we can do that as well joining Jonathan Davies
and Gareth Charles. COMMENTATOR: Ospreys will have seen Leinster
overtake them in the Pro12. They can reclaim second place behind Munster
if they carry on in the second half as they did in the first. The one
converted try of the evening belonged to the Ospreys in the first
half. Dan Biggar gets the second underway. No changes during the
interval except for a couple of clean shirts. Tom Habberfield as
welcome about getting in on the tackle. A poor option on the short
side, nothing on. Trying to get the ball to few it but you got to put
him in the right position. He needs to be one on one housewife, coming
into the line may be, swap him with the full-back and uses base but they
just wrap him up. Cracknell again holding him up and driving him into
touch. Welcomes ducted line-out drive by
the Ospreys. Very clinically done. -- well constructed. Advantage being
played from the line-out. Didn't go anywhere so this might go back. I
think they went expecting that ball because the backline was very flat.
I think they should go for goal here, two scores. Unless they think
they will kill the game, get a try, catch and drive.
Howard looks like he has had a stinger. Early on in the second
half, big line-out. Three points available but the Ospreys going for
a second try. Again, penalty advantage being played in their
favour as the line-out is brought them illegally. You'll agree got go
left, it is on. They called Ian Davis's attention to
the fact that he had taken a knock. He has just caught Tipuric's knee I
think. Or Tipuric has just got his head with his knee. He's done all
the hard work, just catches in with his knee.
At least that's not on the playing surface.
Howells was meant to play. Just tweaked a hamstring. It is Brendon
Leonard getting stripped off. Jonathan Spratt has come onto the
bench. The one highlight of the first half
was set up by Tom Habberfield. Rate work by Olly Cracknell, dragging
Angus O'Brien across and putting Justin Tipuric in the hole and he
had plenty of space to round it off. Hanno Dirksen, walking off a good
sign. Habberfield goes on to the wing.
Leonard comes on at scrum-half. Line-out again, definitely going for
the kill here, the Ospreys. Two kickable penalties, catch and drive.
Driving line-out. After three minutes of the second half, long way
back for the Dragons. All this came from a poor decision to go down the
short side. The Dragons have won it. Harris has it. He has got in a
couple of those throws. Habberfield to Sam Davies. Leonard, Baldwin.
Running Sam Davies was in two minds. Did he get penalised? Dan Biggar to
Sam Davies. Good work by Leigh Griffiths.
I thought they were unlucky to get penalised there. He said he was fine
the first time, then that could go and dropped back a second time on
it. Fine margins on it. There heaters, the opportunity. As an old
openside, you would be disappointed with the decision there. I think
that is a penalty for the Dragons. OK, he was wrong second time but the
first time, the penalty was for him. The Ospreys have been stuck in this
corner for most of the four and a half minutes played in the second
half. They have done very well in the line-out, the Dragons against
the Ospreys. The quality they have in the second row, you don't often
see that. Alan Wyn Jones trying to get it forward again. They go in
together, back comes the ball to Leonard.
As ever, James King quietly getting on with his job. The Ospreys are
very patient until the opportunity comes. Important period of defending
for the Dragons. They have been stuck in 22 in the second half as
the Ospreys go in search of a second try.
The Ospreys have two keep their width as well. They are showing
their hand up, they have to keep their width. Leonard one small
forwards involved. 15 phases the Ospreys have gone through. Alan Wyn
Jones takes it up within three or four metres of the Dragons try line.
Dan Biggar orchestrating things from ten. Have they worked the space out
wide? Sam Davies roll-out of the first tackle. But the ball stripped
from his grasp on the Dragons have it and a chance to clear. Despite
all of that pressure, the Dragons survive. He picked his moment really
well. Just got in, there he is, he's just gone a little bit too early,
too high. You can argue for Ospreys it is a penalty for them. He was
taken off his feet, perhaps a bit of justice from the earlier decision.
We now have good Nic Cudd is from the breakdown but Leigh Griffiths is
in great form as well. -- Ollie Griffiths. Dan Biggar, just a
locate, and easy take for Travis noil. Just little things like that.
Sam Davies wasn't held. Inside ball to Habberfield. Again, he flies
forward in the tackle. Neither side at the moment able to hang onto the
ball long enough. If you're an Ospreys fan, Dan
Biggar, they only need one score in front. The next chance, you take a
3-pointer, two scores ahead. Whether it is a drop goal a lot has made
about the pitch, just drop it and whack it.
Dragons back at the 22. Nothing he can do except put it on top of the
stand. The first ten minutes has been all Ospreys. Keeping the
position. A change in the Dragons front row.
Hobson coming on. A similar change in the Ospreys ranks.
Not quite yet. He does well, he got across there. He has done an heroic
job, across well. They have done their homework in the last few days
because they have really done a job on the Ospreys line-out. Head in
hands. That is a killer for the forwards, you do your job, win the
possession back and he's given it straight back to Ospreys. A couple
of kicks now, poor execution. You've got to hang it up.
Can you confirm the Hanno Dirksen situation please? It was at the head
so looking at it on the screen, taking every precaution. This is an
old-fashioned game that you and I will remember from our days, how do
you play it from now? By and large, a huge quantity of kicks in the game
in the first half. Territorially we have been pretty good but with that
comes responsibility to do more with possession. Only one score ahead,
does that concern you? Won it does. Especially with a little bit of the
discipline. -- little bit of ill discipline.
The Ospreys have had over 80% of the ball in the second half. Do will be
a zone is? Is that after nine o'clock?
Morgan thought he was coming in for that one. Karl Maier thought he was
the dummy runner. And given the little possession may have had in
the second half, that is quite literally throwing it away. The last
Ospreys line-out was penalised and not being straight. They are really
struggling with their line-out, Ospreys. They went forefront in the
first half to get some clean ball. Cracknell down in front, safe all.
Matavesi. Karl Meyer looking for distance. Sam
Davies is there. Pops it up to Dan Biggar. Incredibly, he managed to
get it. Smith. And it has gone forward. A little trickery from Dan
Biggar, not his usual jump up in the air and catch it. That's where the
knock-on occurred. The win against the Scarlets in the
last game is the only time the Ospreys have not had a winning bonus
point this year. That is where they are so good, they can adapt their
style to any conditions. This was never going to be a classic today
but they have ground it out. Strang in the Dragons in the first 15
minutes of the second half. They just can't get out of the half,
can't get any ball, the Dragons. Is there any point in standing there
because they are understanding in midfield maybe. Given the option.
Referee allowing them to play it even though the front rows had gone
down. Not getting it beyond the Ospreys defenders.
It is a real baseline game. It is like July. This is the advert for
summer rugby, isn't it? And that's just the number of kicks. Did you
find out the record. The boys in the van are looking for the world record
for number of kicks in a match. There have only been 75 kicks in
this game, that's all. It feels like more. 50% of them are good ones. He
is struggling. Hypothermia. His conference of the rugby and pervert
conditions, welcome to Wales body. A telling kit, no pressure at all. A
real let off for the Ospreys. They've had so little possession in
the second half, the Dragons, they have to make better use of it. There
we are, normal service is resumed. Even the crowd are taking the Mickey
now. Get the Mexican wave going. Every kick bringing cheers, that is
out on the full, isn't it? The referee says he is clearly inside.
Football markings. Interesting to see that again. He's close, isn't
he? That is very close. Landed in play anyway. Doesn't make any
difference where he is. He's outside of the 22 but it bounces in. You
know it's a boring game when you get excited about something like that, I
thought that was going to be the big talking point of the second half.
Jonathan Spratt has come on. He's done him. Yellow macro right,
kick this, if you're the Ospreys, kick it, ten points. That's what I
would do. Emma Croker there is no way you can see the Dragons scoring
two tries. I think they are so confident and are in total control
of the game, that they think they can shut out the Dragons, one more
try, you never know. 20 minutes to go, they should still be thinking of
the bonus point of four tries. That's a dreadful throw. That's the
pressure of the last 15 minutes. They didn't even compete that time,
the Dragons. An easy ball for Alun Wyn Jones. Scott Baldwin
disappointed with himself. When was the last time we had two
consecutive games with no points in the second half?
Stay up, stay up! Jackson trying to get the Dragons away from their own
try line. Which is exactly what is in the background. Taverners noil
gets the kick in. A good kick. -- Tavis Knoyle. No fixtures in the
Premiership but there was a big programme yesterday and we now know
seven of the eight teams in the top eight. The last place will be
between Cardiff and other -- ever Vale. If they do no worse than
Cardiff, they will clinch that last eight spot. There is 30 cans of
paint behind me. I think Newport have got a game here tomorrow. I
think they played football here yesterday. Could be a try-fest here
tomorrow with the black and Ambers. Thornton wins the line. Adam Warren
has come on in the Dragons midfield. Jackson gets the tackle in an bald
win. Way way back from Justin Tipuric. Griffiths gets the tackle
in. Matavesi makes ground. Carl Meyer should get there first,
and does. His route is blocked by Alun Wyn. Forced out of play. This
will be a very good position for the Ospreys. Even when nothing was on,
just to chase the pressure from the Ospreys, they kept it up all the
time. Carl Meyer, nowhere to go. They won themselves this position.
It is painstaking staff but the Ospreys are sticking to their plan.
Doing what they need to do. Thornton again, safely gets the
possession. The Dragons sacked it really early. So difficult to play
off this ball and get any momentum, it's so static. Nicky Smith under
pressure from Ollie Griffiths. Good defending from Sam Hobbs. Got
the tackle in. Biggar goes for the drop goal. A knock an advantage
being plagued by Davies. Usually the kick brings the advantage to an end.
Maybe, because it was an attempt at points, he's called him back.
Sam Davies alongside Dan Evans on the far side of the scrum.
Not quite allowed to get the ball out on that occasion. The Dragons
head coach Kingsley Jones is listening in. In terms you're really
under the cosh in the second-half. A bit frustrating. Our line-out
defence has been particularly good. You have to credit Dan Biggar, the
way he's controlling the game. We are doing well to defend from those
situations and get ourselves out of trouble but we are unable to get a
foothold, particularly in their half. I suppose when you get the
ball, the kick isn't quite good enough and they come straight back
at you. Some inaccuracies. Several things, to be honest. There's lots
of good in what we do and our defence has been good. We are in a
vulnerable position here from the scrum but we have been good in many
areas. We just need to get a foothold. Thank you. Matavesi, the
Ospreys again make their way into the 22. One-handed from Leonard.
Good pressure defence from the Dragons. But it is relentless from
the Ospreys. Nicky Smith the next one. You can't blame the effort from
the Dragons but it is all on the back foot as Biggar picks out Sam
Davies. Morgan getting the tackle in. And they win the turnover.
Excellent defence. Tavis Knoyle looking if they can get them away,
they can't. Clearer lines, now. It would be worth making a change at
scrum-half. Get Pretorius on, Dorian Jones. Maybe extra kicking to get
out of their own 22. A big penalty won again by Ollie Griffiths. Over
the ball early. Can't move much in that position. He's relished these
conditions today. Ollie Griffiths epitomising the defensive adverts.
-- defensive effort. The easiest thing is when you don't have the
ball, it's when you've got the ball to try and create something, they've
lacked that. Conditions are difficult. Crosswell on his own
ball. Ashton Hewitt is high. An apology from Cracknell. A clumsy
tackle. The Dragons can at last spend some
time in the Ospreys' half. That is the directive these days,
and it is meant to keep the tackle is lower. Just going back to this
decision, even if it goes over they've still got to score a try.
You can be stuck in your half full game, trying to put a bit of
pressure on the Ospreys. Not easy kicking in these conditions.
Good effort by Angus O'Brien. Not quite, though. Just pushed it,
didn't he? I'd have gone for the touch there, I think. Keep a little
bit of ball. They are under the cosh, aren't they? Double change in
the second row for the Dragons. Sam Underhill is an foot the Ospreys.
He didn't catch it. I think he's just fed up. After that! LAUGHTER
That's the best kick he's put in all day, that is!
Drifting a bit of centre, the throw. A bit of leeway shown.
See who is going to crack first. We are going up towards three figures
as far as kicks go. It feels more like four figures! It's horrendous,
let's be honest. CHEERING It's embarrassing. When the crowd
are taking the Mickey out of you, it's embarrassing.
I think they are taking the Mickey out of the kicking.
Howard just lost his footing as the ball approached.
We are into the final ten minutes of the game. So only time for another
couple of dozen kicks. Former Dragon, Sam Parry, on the
Scott Baldwin. You've got a lot of thinking to do, Jonathan! I can't
wait for this! Pick the bones out of this one, Jeff. I'd put the ball
down and runaway! Normally buy now we've got a sheet in front of us and
a mark... There isn't one mark by any of the names here! A couple of
names. Ruck was formed. Ollie Griffiths...
They aren't going to score three tries now, are they? Kick it. Davies
was really clear straightaway there was a ruck forming. A bit too keen
that kind, Ollie Griffiths. -- that time, Ollie Griffiths.
How long have we got? I've got to pick a man of the match, you've got
to talk for the remainder of the game! Shaun Lunt can do that! --
Sean can do that! It's been a long time coming, but
there are points in the second half. And they belonged to Dan Biggar and
the Ospreys. It's been total domination in the second half.
Lloyd Fairbrother, I think. 97 kicks from hand! There's no contact
here... Let's have a look. We're just checking the actions of 18
black. Here it comes. I'll try and show you the angle from the stand
side as well. I've got the guy round the neck on the floor there. That's
a penalty. Show me the first one again. Lloyd Fairbrother took a
bump... Is that 17 holding him by the neck?
He's connected with the shoulder. I'm going to penalised 17 black.
Just watch this angle. Poor technique, no arm, wrong
shoulder... He could have hurt himself more than anything, there.
Penalty, get on with it. Just be careful, because you do run
the risk there. OK, the mark is there. Step of it.
Rory Thornton has claimed every line-out since coming on. Sam Parry
keeps it in there. Until Brendon Leonard picks his moment. Especially
when you've got to run that back, your ten points down, there's only
six and a half minute, you've got to try something, haven't you?
Otherwise you're killing the clock, giving the ball back to the Ospreys.
You've got to have your bonus to try something. I think they are
demoralised now. There's no change from the Ospreys' defence. Ollie
Griffiths picks up the loose line-out ball. Pretorius to Jones.
Morgan... Just behind his shoulder, Pretorius. Buckley. Landman.
As the Dragons at last get a chance to keep ball in hand. Ashton Hewitt
to Tyler Morgan once again. That's a tackle! Pretorius... The chase is
on. Pat Howard gets it but even though he ground the ball it's not
forward. Just a tinge of disappointment.
Quite clearly went forward. Clearly forward. I think I'll be
disappointed with that, Pat Howard. So, the Ospreys try line remains
intact. Penalty goes the Dragons' way. Went
he goes scrum again? Try and get a bonus point now? Dorian Jones like
looks like he might go for the corner. Lewis Evans' call.
After being under the cosh for pretty much the whole of the second
half, the Dragons may have an opportunity to grab something from
this game. Good drive, kept their positions well, now they've what the
ground. Was it illegal? Play on, says Ian Davies. Hobbs gets driven
on by Ed Jackson and Ollie Griffiths. There's the ball first
Sarel Pretorius. Lewis Evans the skipper... Pretorius... Nicky Smith
defending the outside centre position. Landman... Again,
Pretorius looks wide. Fairbrother has a go. Now it's the Ospreys'
turned to do a bit of defending. Pretorius, change of direction to
Lewis Evans. Matavesi leads that defence... And the ball is held up
off the floor. Excellent defensive work as the Dragons are denied.
Jonathan, man of the yours. For me, Ollie Griffiths had a good game but
for me it's got to be that man there. Olly Cracknell, ten tackles,
of after 65 minutes so he still tops those stats. His contribution has
been immense. Very good performance by the young man.
He has certainly made his presence felt since coming down to join the
Ospreys. Still only 22 years old. They are trying hard to get back
into it. It looks as though the Ospreys will be keeping a clean
sheet. 35-17, the corresponding fixture down at the Liberty at the
end of October. A solitary try this evening in the first half, way back
from Justin Tipuric. James King tries to clear the decks again.
Underhill giving enough, and enough is enough, says Dan Biggar. Brave
defensive effort by the Dragons in the second half. The Ospreys very
much in control, couldn't add to the first half try, but their winning
ways continue. That's four in a row for them after the blip in Munster.
It's only Munster above them in the table. The Ospreys starting the New
Year as strongly as they finish the old one. Couldn't manage another
bonus point, but in these conditions they won't mind. The game only just
went ahead, the Ospreys will be glad to get it out of the way and keep on
and go from Rodney Parade with a win and four points. 10-0 the margin of
victory in the end for the Ospreys. Man of the match, Olly Cracknell, is
with Phil. Congratulations, will give you our Guinness man of the
match award. It's Sally's birthday today. In a strange masochistic way,
did you enjoy it? I did quite enjoy it. This sort of game seek the way I
play quite a lot. It's good to get the winners. Once you got the first
try, did you always feel that might be enough? I think so. We do back
our defence quite a lot so that was key. The Dragons put quite a lot of
pressure on us but just pleased to get over the line, really. You went
out there for that bit of defence at the end but how impressive was that?
Massive. Great shift at the end. They came really close and the
second half was just, throughout the whole second half, really close. I
think that last set sums up the attitude of the boys today. Well
done, nine from nine. Great, very good. Cheers. STUDIO:
Congratulations to Olly Cracknell, today's man of the match. Another
victory for the Ospreys. They really gain second place in the table.
Munster are top of the pile... The Scarlets are into fourth courtesy of
their victory over the Blues. Which means 2017 begins we have two Welsh
regions in the top four of the Pro12 table. Dragons dropped to tenth as a
result of today's defeat. You don't have to be called Ollie to be a of
the man of the match but it certainly helps. Olly Cracknell, he
did that bit of magic to put Tipuric away. Very physical, like you said,
those conditions suiting him. I think he deserved that coming out on
the winning team as well. Although Ollie Griffiths was probably a close
second in the man of the match race and he himself defensively at least
had a cracking game. Yet, it was a game for the sevens. He has a lot of
defending to do and he had opportunities to get over the ball.
He was particularly influential for the Dragons. As much as the Ospreys
huffed and puffed, he chose the breakdowns to go to and was
successful. That was a little illegal but this one he was a bit
unlucky. That's a penalty, he's over the ball, he's their first and the
second attempted got away. Good tackler, good prospect, he's one for
the future. So many sevens, in the Scarlets, Thomas Young is tearing up
the Aviva at the moment. Ollie Griffiths with a real defensive
performance. You might say Tipuric was quiet today but the Ospreys had
all the ball. It's a nice game for Ollie Griffiths, he's a poacher. He
did his job really well and stopped the Ospreys creating much momentum.
Yet another victory for the Ospreys. We become used to talking about the
tries they score. Bonus points galore, especially in Europe. Today
it was all about attitude and defence. It had to be about
attitude. You can see why Steve Tandy and his team didn't want to
play today. As dominant as they were, the Dragons were still in the
game. This was the second half. Ironically it was an Ollie Griffiths
penalty. They did show their determination and they showed their
class in the end to grind out a win, get on the bus and get home.
They also showed confidence to turn down a number of kickable penalties.
There was buried the end where the Dragons could have got close. The
Dragons finally got out of their own half and had a penalty in the middle
of the park. I think they should have gone for the corner. You might
only get one opportunity, which they did at the end. They could have put
pressure on the Ospreys but they didn't. Even if the 3-pointer gone
over, I'm not sure what they would have gained from that. Apart from a
couple and is where you thought they could come back into it, Dan Biggar
bossed the game. He put them in the corners. And the Ospreys back
squeezed the life out of the Dragons pack. If there are positives for the
Dragon, they disrupted the line-out almost at will at times. Getting a
shove on as well. But errors let them down. It seems to be deja vu.
It was the same in the first half against the Blues. Here, they kicked
the ball is rated at three times. We know they don't like to be kept
waiting. When you design the Boxing Day game as one for the purists, how
would you describe that? Probably one for the traditionalists. I think
wearily disappointed, irrelevant of conditions. The out of territory we
had, we should have capitalised more. We had to put pressure on. We
are really disappointed coming out. Yes, job done but we could have put
more than that on the park. Another four points and 949. When you have
conditions like that, this block of three games, Scarlets, Dragons and
Connacht is a turning point in the season for us. So far so good but a
massive game against Connacht coming up. If you make it ten from ten, how
will that set you up? We are not looking at it like that. Without
giving away too much, we still have a bit of hope in us from last year.
It doesn't have only play games like this. It probably does because it
heightens that. We have a big game coming up and we have the win and it
is time to move on. Simon Jones was talking at the beginning there about
what we were talking about, the fact the Dragons did disrupt them in the
line-out and got the shove in the scrum. So aspects that the Dragons
can be pleased with. It shows what a perfectionist he is that he wins at
night game on the trot and is not happy. Only he can get the word
dysfunctional into a post match interview. The scrum was good, in
the first half in particular. Defensively they were good. Against
the Blues in the second half, they didn't concede a point. There are
good signs but they lack that little bit of quality and finishing power.
They couldn't get Ashton Hewitt involved in the game today. At home,
they look pretty strong. One try for us to watch back again. We might as
well milk it. Habberfield creates the opening. He makes the initial
break. We talked about Olly Cracknell in support and his fellow
flanker, with the athleticism to finish. The one highlight of the
game really. It was early on and you wondered if conditions were not that
bad. But it turned into a real kicking fest, which you would
associate with the game seven or eight, nine yes ago. Just watching
the ball go back and forward over your head. It is what it is, but
that one to bed and move on. On that, the boys in commentary
expressed their views on the kicking game. To a certain extent,
conditions dictate tactics. The Ospreys, when they knew they had to
play, they had to play that way. Promised the boys in the truck I
wouldn't mention kicking but I have do. If you take the Ospreys there,
they will go there. They will bore you and kick you and play gaining
ground until you make an error. Pat Howard knocked the ball on just
under the stand. They don't care if the crowd booing, they are going to
take it to the wire and they have lots of good kickers and also
structure and good field position. Credit to them. They played the
conditions and changed their mind set when the starting whistle went.
All of that stuff with art of the way. Alun Wyn Jones didn't want to
look beyond the Connacht game, but the Ospreys have won Pro12 titles
for times. You talk about the hurt of coming a class easing, it is
halfway through the season, too early to talk about them as title
contenders? They are definitely title contenders, it is about
getting those top two spots and the home semifinal because they are so
difficult to beat at home. We mention the Six Nations is crucial
when the big players are away. Many congratulations to Ospreys, they are
on a roll right now, nine in a row in all competitions, the 11th win in
a row over the Dragons. Many congratulations to them, happy New
Year to you all is well, good night.
Ross Harries presents the second of Scrum V's festive derbies with live coverage of Dragons v Ospreys from Rodney Parade.
Studio guests include former Wales internationals Jonathan Davies and Martyn Williams, and former Ospreys head coach Sean Holley.