Match Page 2017-18 - Scoreboard WP ID: 132

Match Page 2017-18 - Last Time WP ID: 133

Match Page 2017-18 - Current Standing WP: 134

Match Page 2017-18 - H2H WP: 136

Match Page 2017-18 - Last 3 Matches WP: 142

Match Page 2017-18 - Season so Far WP:141

Preview: Dragons v Ospreys

Charlie Peat 29 Dec 2017

Ospreys head to Rodney Parade for a showdown with Welsh rivals Dragons looking to claim their first victory in the Guinness PRO14 since October.

That triumph came against the Dragons at the Liberty Stadium and the hosts will also be aiming to get back to winning ways having been downed by Cardiff Blues on Boxing Day.

What’s at stake?

Neither side are where they want to be in the league table with Ospreys propping up Conference A and the Dragons sitting in sixth in Conference B, one place above bottom side Southern Kings.

Dragons secured a thrilling 32-32 draw with Ulster in round 10 but that was their only positive result since beating the Southern Kings on September 30.

Ospreys suffered a tense 12-9 defeat against 14-man Scarlets last time out and will be looking to rack up their second victory of the season over the Dragons on New Year’s Eve.

Team news (Dragons):

Head Coach Bernard Jackman makes eight changes to the side that suffered a narrow defeat to Cardiff Blues last weekend at a sold-out Rodney Parade.

Fullback Carl Meyer, Sam Beard and Dan Babos have all been selected following their recovery from injury, as well as Jared Rosser, Lloyd Fairbrother, Rynard Landman and Ben Roach.

Team news (Ospreys):

Wing Ben John will miss the clash following his head injury suffered in the defeat to Scarlets on Boxing Day.

Full-back Dan Evans has recovered from a dead leg sustained at Parc y Scarlets as Ospreys make four changes.

Dan Biggar is recalled at fly-half, Hanno Dirkson comes in for John while Kieron Fonotia takes over from Ashley Beck at centre and lock Alun Wyn Jones makes way for Adam Beard.

Talking points:

Ospreys Head Coach Steve Tandy said: “There’s a quick turnaround from Boxing Day but we were straight back in on Wednesday morning to begin preparations for Sunday and are ready to go again.

“With the Dragons this weekend followed by the Blues at the Liberty next Saturday, that’s another couple of huge games played in front of big crowds with real intensity, and we have to make sure that we are up for the challenge.

“There was plenty of character and effort against the Scarlets in conditions that made life difficult for both teams and negated the influence of the extra man following their red card with the necessity to play a tight game. We got ourselves into a winning position so were incredibly disappointed not to see it through, losing the way we did at the last play.”

While Dragons centre Jack Dixon said: “I feel that we are going in the right direction and performances are coming now, we just need to keep growing as a team and the results will follow.

“It’s a short turnaround now as its straight into the Ospreys, so we have to bounce back. As a team, we are looking forward to the match on New Year’s Eve and hopefully, we will get a better result and then kick off into 2018 well.”

Key battle: Cory Hill v Bradley Davies

A battle between these two second rowers could settle a finely-poised contest at Rodney Parade as both sides looks to ignite their seasons.

Captain Cory Hill made 12 carries in last week’s narrow defeat to the Cardiff Blues – only teammate Elliot Dee (18) produced more in the clash.

His opposite number has been a mainstay in the Ospreys pack this season, starting all but one match and will have to be at his best to help the visitors snatch a win away from home.

Key stat:

Ospreys have won their last twelve encounters with Dragons in the Guinness PRO14 since the men from Gwent’s 21- 20 victory at Rodney Parade in January 2012.

Did you know?

Dragons have won only one of their last 24 fixtures against fellow Welsh regions in the Guinness PRO14, a 23-17 win over Cardiff Blues at the Arms Park on Boxing Day 2014.

Dragons: Carl Meyer, Ashton Hewitt, Sam Beard, Jack Dixon, Jared Rosser, Arwel Robson, Dan Babos; Sam Hobbs, Elliot Dee, Lloyd Fairbrother, Cory Hill (capt), Rynard Landman, Aaron Wainwright, Ben Roach, James Benjamin.

Replacements: Liam Belcher, Thomas Davies, Nicky Thomas, Robson Blake, James Sheekey, Sarel Pretorius, Angus O’Brien, Jarryd Sage.

Ospreys: Dan Evans, Hanno Dirksen, Kieron Fonotia, Owen Watkin, Jeff Hassler, Dan Biggar, Rhys Webb, Nicky Smith, Scott Baldwin, Dmitri Arhip, Bradley Davies, Adam Beard, Dan Lydiate (capt), Justin Tipuric, Olly Cracknell

Replacements: Scott Otten, Paul James, Ma’afu Fia, Alun Wyn Jones, Rob McCusker, Tom Habberfield, Sam Davies, Ashley Beck

Match officials – referee: Dan Jones

AR1: Craig Evans

AR2: Mike English

TMO: Neil Hennessey

TV: S4C 17.15

Guinness PRO14 Final 2018 Ticket Information: Fans can save up to 20% on selected tickets, and prices start at just €30 for adults and €5 for children, and can be booked via www.ticketmaster.ie

Historical Lineup Pre Opta (sfms data) - Preview - v2

Match Page 2017-18 - Lineups WP: 135

Match Page 2017-18 - Match Data WP: 140

Match Page 2017-18 - Timeline WP:139

Ospreys battle to hard fought win over Dragons

James Andrew 31 Dec 2017

Ospreys ended 2017 in style with a commanding away win over the Dragons at Rodney Parade.

Scott Baldwin, Cory Allen and Sam Davies scored tries for Ospreys while Dan Bigger added seven points with his boot.

Three penalties from Arwel Robson was all the Dragons could muster in response.

It is Ospreys third win of the season and moves them to within a point of Zebre.

Ospreys got off to the best possible start when Baldwin went over for the first try of the game.

The Dragons were penalised for collapsing the scrum and Bigger put the penalty 10 metres out from the Dragons line, Adam Beard won the line out and Baldwin goes over after a powerful maul. Bigger then successfully added the extras with the conversion.

The Dragons got on the scoresheet when Robson knocked over a penalty.

But Ospreys extend their lead minutes later when Rhys Webb kicked a high ball which Bigger beat Jared Rosser to, before sprinting for the line.

Before he was bundled into touch, Bigger managed to offload the ball to Cory Allen who beat two defenders to go over the line.

Dragons managed to cut the deficit to six points when Dmitri Arhip was penalised for killing the ball in his own 22 at the breakdown and Robson knocked over the penalty.

Jack Dixon was shown a yellow card for Dragons 10 minutes before the break for killing the ball on his own line after Dan Evans made a break for the line.

It was a simple three points for Bigger to score. But before the break Robson cut the lead yet again when he scored a penalty from 40 metres.

Ospreys started the second half as they did the first on the front foot, and they extended their lead with a third try.

After good work by the forwards, Rhys Webb sends the ball out wide to Sam Davies who is able to dive over unchallenged a couple of meters out and Bigger adds the conversion to put the visitors in complete control.

Guinness PRO14 Final 2018 Ticket Information: Fans can save up to 20% on selected tickets, and prices start at just €30 for adults and €5 for children, and can be booked via www.ticketmaster.ie

Match Page 2017-18 - Summary WP:137

Match Page 2017-18 - Match Data WP: 140

Match Page 2017-18 - Timeline WP:139

Match Page 2017-18 - Lineups WP: 135

Match Page 2017-18 - Performance WP:138