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Last Updated: Friday, 12 September, 2003, 19:46 GMT 20:46 UK
Dragons clip Osprey wings
CELTIC LEAGUE
Scott Gibbs gets to grips with Andy Marinos
Dragons (13) 29
Tries: B Breeze, S van Rensburg. Cons: L Jarvis (2). Pens: Jarvis (5).
Ospreys (6) 19
Try: J Storey. Con: G Henson. Pens: Henson (4).
Att: 3,874
A physical performance from the home pack saw the Dragons to a battling win over the inconsistent Ospreys at Rodney Parade.

Scott Gibbs and Gavin Thomas were sent to the sin bin in a bad-tempered first-half, as a Ben Breeze try saw the Dragons take control.

The Ospreys fought back with a fine 60-yard move for a James Storey try, and the advantage swung their way when Jamie Ringer was sin-binned.

But the home side's pack took a vice-like grip on the game and a try for man-of-the-match Shawn van Rensburg sealed the Dragons' first win.

The home team emerged with shouts of 'Newport' ringing around Rodney Parade, and the first half brought back memories of the bad old days of Welsh Premier rugby.

Aimless kicking and knock-ons dominated, and an exchange of penalties between Gavin Henson and Lee Jarvis was all there was to show for the opening 20 minutes.

That's not bad for a team of rejects
Dragons coach Mike Ruddock
The game opened up thanks to Ospreys indiscipline, Gibbs reigniting old feuds with Shawn van Rensburg by going in with a swinging elbow - and earning himself a trip to the sin bin.

The visitors went close to the opening try soon after, following an excellent break by Elvis Seveali'i, but perpetual-motion flanker Jason Forster denied James Storey in the corner.

Gavin Thomas made a superb break from deep in his own half, but showed his frustration when the ball was killed at the breakdown by leading with his knee - the flanker was rewarded with the second Ospreys yellow card of the night.

Gibbs returned, but the Dragons' pressure on the under-manned Ospreys rose and from an attack inside the visitors' 22 Lee Jarvis sent through a well-weighted grubber kick, pounced on by Breeze for the opening try.

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Jarvis converted, but a Henson penalty on the stroke of half-time left it 13-6 at the break.

Jarvis missed two penalties at the start of the second period, before a moment of magic from the Ospreys got the game back on an even keel.

A Henson break deep inside his own half was well developed until the ball came to Storey out wide on the Dragons' 22.

The big centre cut back inside and had the pace and power to cross under the posts.

An exchange of penalties followed as both sides repeatedly killed the ball on the floor. Replacement referee David Davies' patience snapped in the 65th minute, with Jamie Ringer shown the yellow card.

The Dragons came back the stronger, though, their physical pack keeping it tight and taking a grip on territory and possession.

After repeated battering at the Ospreys line, the ball came to van Rensburg who crashed over under the posts.

We've got to be more disciplined and not give the penalties away as Gwent were going nowhere in attack
Ospreys coach Lyn Jones
To complete the misery for the visitors, a late Jarvis penalty denied Lyn Jones' team a bonus point.

"That's not bad for a team of rejects," said Dragons coach Mike Ruddock, "We wanted to take them on up front.

"We can't rest on our laurels, though - there's lots more to come from this team."

A disappointed Lyn Jones said: "We found it difficult to win any ball at the contact area and the penalty count went against us.

"The Gwent boys had the edge in the tight five and you can't play off the back foot.

"We've got to be more disciplined and not give the penalties away as Gwent were going nowhere in attack."


Dragons: B Davey; N Brew, A Marinos (capt), S Winn, B Breeze; L Jarvis, R Jones; A Black, P Young, C Anthony, I Gough, P Sidoli, S van Rensburg, R Oakley, J Forster.
Replacements: H Luscombe, C Warlow, B Shelbourne, D Pattison, S Jones, L Charteris, J Ringer.

Ospreys: Adrian Durston; Dave Tiueti, James Storey, Scott Gibbs (capt), Elvis Seveali'l; Gavin Henson, Andy Williams; Paul James, Barry Williams, Andrew Millward, Andy Newman, Luke Tait, Gavin Thomas, James Bater, Richard Pugh.
Replacements: Gareth Morris, Shaun Connor, Ricky Richards, Chris Wells, Nathan Bonner-Evans, Mervyn Meredith, Cai Griffiths.

Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland), replaced by David Davies (Wales) 35 mins.




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Dragons captain Andy Marinos
"We have a resolve and work ethic as a squad"



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