A game which will be remembered more for the pre-match drama than the action on the field, where the conditions of the pitch caused much consternation from the visitors. Due to heavy rain, and the ongoing issue the team at Rodney Parade have supporting 3 teams on the surface, conditions were somewhat boggy underfoot, and proved to be the main factor of the ensuing 80 minute kicking battle.
The opening exchange saw the Dragons forwards performing very well in both scrum and lineout, two promising breaks by Ashton Hewitt and Tyler Morgan coming close, and the home team dominating possession and territory. Unfortunately for the home team, the Ospreys got the first score, with a chip from Carl Meyer being well gathered by Habberfield, and an accidental elbow to Sam Beard's face resulting in a crucial missed tackle. A great combination by Cracknell and Tipuric saw the later going over in the corner.
Another break from the Dragons resulted in a yellow card for the visiting Scrum Half Habberfield, for deliberately killing the ball after a quick tap penalty from Tavis Knoyle. Unfortunately the Dragons got dragged back into a kicking duel for the majority of the 10 minutes they we against 14, and wasted the advantage.
With not much between the teams after this initial try, the game became increasingly scrappy, with the initial bursts from the Dragons becoming less frequent as the game went on. A number of opportunities were squandered, with the guys working increadibly hard to get into field position, but maul turnovers, missed penalty kicks and dropped balls in the O's 22 meant the team unfortunately came aay with nothing.
With the mood dampened by the nature of the game, it was easy to forget the huge efforts made by a number of Dragons players, especially up front, where they more than matched their opponents. It was fantastic to see Elliot Dee back in the fold, and back to his spiky best around the field, with his props Phil Price and specifically Brok Harris really standing out. Nick Crosswell really shone, physical and stealing a number of O's line outs, and Ollie Griffiths continued to show just why he remains so highly rated by not only the Dragons Support, but the wider Welsh Rugby community. Tipuric did well around the field, especially with his try, but Griffiths really performed at the breakdown.
As it proved, a game of fine margins, which leaves a sense of missed opportunity for Dragons Supporters. Missed kicks at goal, big line-breaks not being capatilised on, and a number of kicks from hand going out on the full handed the impetus back to the visitors, and the brave attempts battering away at the Osprey's line at the end unfortunately proved too late to influence the final score.