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: Ospreys v Dragons

Andrew Lawton 26 Oct 2017

On Friday night, the Guinness PRO14 returns with an intriguing all-Welsh encounter as the Ospreys and the Dragons face off at the Liberty Stadium.

The two provinces get to grips with each other at 7.35pm, with both heading out in search of a victory to haul themselves up their respective conference tables.

What’s at stake?: If they fail to claim victory, the Ospreys will find themselves still rooted to the bottom of the table in Conference A and won’t have tasted victory since the opening game of the season, when they defeated Zebre 22-13.

The Dragons have the chance to close the gap on Edinburgh Rugby and Bennetton Treviso, who are both within touching distance in Conference B.

Team news (Ospreys): Flanker Sam Cross, who was an Olympic Sevens medallist with Great Britain and was this week named in Wales’ squad for the upcoming autumn internationals, is set to make his Guinness PRO14 debut.

Back row forward Dan Baker has been ruled out for the season with knee ligament damage sustained in the Osprey’s European Champions Cup defeat to Clermont earlier this month.

Team news (Dragons): The Dragons make six changes to the side that beat Enisei-STM in the European Challenge Cup last weekend, with Tyler Morgan making his 50th start for the region.

The likes of Gavin Henson, Brok Harris and Ashton Hewitt all return.

Talking points: Both sides come into this derby meeting off the back of previous encounters with Welsh outfits in Round Six.

The hosts were left frustrated as they were edged out by a single point at the hands of Scarlets while the Dragons were down 43-29 at Cardiff Blues – who will be the team to bounce back?

Key Battle: Dan Biggar v Gavin Henson

Wales fly-halves old and new will go head-to-head as current Wales number 10 Biggar goes up against experienced former Six Nations Grand Slam-winner Henson.

Both players are their teams’ leading point-scorers so far this season.

Key Stat: Since beating the Dragons on New Year’s Day, the Ospreys have lost their last three encounters with Welsh sides.

Did you know?: The Dragons have beaten a fellow Welsh region in the Championship just once since December 2013 – they defeated Cardiff Blues 23-17 on Boxing Day in 2014.

Ospreys: S Davies; K Giles, A Beck, O Watkin, D Evans; D Biggar, T Habberfield; N Smith, S Parry, D Arhip, B Davies, A W Jones, O Cracknell, S Cross, J King.

Replacements: S Baldwin, P James, M Fia, A Beard, R McCusker, B Leonard, J Hook, C Allen.

Dragons: H Amos; A Hewitt, T Morgan, J Dixon, J Rosser; G Henson, S Pretorius; B Harris, E Dee, L Brown, J Davies, C Hill, J Thomas, J Benjamin, L Evans.

Replacements: G Ellis, T Davies, L Fairbrother, R Landman, A Wainwright, C Davies, A O’Brien, P Howard.

TV: BBC Wales (KO: 7.35pm)

Match officials – Referee: Ian Davies (WRU), AR1: Adam Jones (WRU), AR2: Dewi Phillips (WRU), TMO: Jon Mason (WRU)

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 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 pull away from Dragons to claim derby honours

Paul Eddison 27 Oct 2017

The Ospreys were pushed hard but eventually came away with all five points in their 28-14 success over the Dragons in a tense Welsh derby.

With an hour gone they led just 16-14, but tries from Brendon Leonard and Maafu Fia in the final quarter were enough to see them to a bonus-point win.

They had led thanks to Dan Biggar’s try, with Sam Parry also crossing in the first half, only for Leon Brown and Elliot Dee to match them for the visitors.

But in the end the Dragons were not able to push on to take the win, with the Ospreys finishing strongly to earn a first win since Round One.

It was a tense opening, worthy of a derby game, with both sides showing their mettle in defence, notably the Dragons after a 26-phase Ospreys attack.

It took 24 minutes for the first points to finally come, with Biggar getting the better of opposite number Gavin Henson for the try. Taking the ball ten metres out, Biggar showed enough pace and power to force his way over, although he was off-target with the conversion.

The Dragons hit back, with Brown, called up by Wales this week, getting over. The powerful prop showed just how difficult he is to stop from short range as he powered through the Ospreys defence, with Henson converting.

That made it 7-5 to the visitors despite having been under the cosh for much of the opening half.

But it was the Ospreys who were able to bounce back almost from the restart. Keelan Giles took the restart and then a combination of the winger, along with Alun Wyn Jones and Biggar, was enough to put Parry over.

Again Biggar missed the conversion, but he found his radar before the break with a penalty, while Henson was off with a later effort.

Having spent much of the half defending, tiredness seemed sure to take its toll on the visitors, and the Ospreys stretched their lead with a second Biggar penalty early in the second half.

But just as it seemed the Dragons were giving themselves too much to do, back they came with a try from their second uncapped Wales call-up. Dee had to wait for confirmation from the TMO, but he was awarded the try after forcing his way over, with Henson’s conversion cutting the deficit to two points at 16-14.

From there it was anyone’s guess as to who would claim victory, but after a good rolling maul, Leonard was able to sneak over and stretch the home lead back to seven points.

And they wrapped up the bonus point when Rob McCusker was again at the heart of a forward drive, with prop Fia this time the man to cross. Biggar hit a first conversion of the evening to settle it.

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 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