Dragons v Ospreys Scrum V

Dragons v Ospreys

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.