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Ospreys
26
V
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Saturday May 18
KO 3:00 PM
URC
Liberty Stadium,
Swansea
Dragons
MATCH REPORT

Sun sets on home season with Stormers loss

Dragons RFC finished the home campaign with a battling 44-21 defeat to South African powerhouses the DHL Stormers in the BKT United Rugby Championship on Friday evening.

The play-off chasing Stormers – who named a side packed full of Springbok talent – underlined their title credentials and have now lost just twice in ten league games.

But Dragons, who have never beaten the Stormers, could take huge from a superb performance for over an hour as they frustrated the South Africans and scored tries through Harri Keddie and Aaron Wainwright.

Attention now turns to the Welsh derbies with Ospreys and Scarlets to finish the league season.

In glorious later evening sunshine, the Dragons went on the attack with Dane Blacker pinning the South Africans back in their own 22.

The home side looked to drive over – after opting to take a lineout - but they were held up by the retreating Stormers.

Hollis got his first touch from a Keddie offload, but a busy defence shunted him into the tramlines.

A kicking contest saw Jordan Williams punt in behind visiting full back Warrick Gelant who knocked on into touch under no pressure.

Dragons came again, with Wainwright to the fore, and a penalty saw Reed opening the scoring from the tee.

A well-worked lineout move between Wainwright and Elliot Dee then saw the home side stopped just short before Keddie, supported by Coleman, picked up and crashed over the opening try.

Stormers immediately turned to their power game for a response as they looked apply the squeeze at scrum time. They won a penalty and kicked to the corner, but an overthrown lineout was gobbled up by Dee.

The terraces were rocking with noise to any mistake from the visitors while a scrum penalty was greeted like a try with a deafening roar.

A brilliant touch finder from Reed pushed Stormers back once more and Hughes barrelled over but was pulled back for not releasing after the tackle.

The penalties were mounting up against the Stormers as Dragons dominated possession and territory, as a second penalty for Reed extended the lead to 11-0.

Stormers finally got on the board just after the half hour as a scrum penalty was dispatched by Manie Libbok.

And four minutes later they cut the lead to a point when a dropped high ball saw the visitors kick in behind for Davids to pick up and score.

One late charge before the break saw Hollis held up as Dragons took a 11-10 lead to the break.

The home side needed to pick up where they left off in the first half, but it was Stormers who stared to turn the screw with more territory and more punishing runs.

Libbok nudged Stormers ahead 48-minute with a well-struck penalty, before Reed hut back with a kick of his own two minutes later.

Dmitri Arhip and Rodrigo Martinez were introduced and immediately helped win a scrum penalty to ease pressure while Taine Basham was on for the hard-working Keddie.

Reed’s cross field kick found a marauding Hollis but spilled ball was hacked forward and Davids caused confusion before Libbok looked to cruise over but play was pulled back for a knock on.

Libbok’s third penalty of the night – from a scrum infringement - put the South Africans back in front with just over half hour to play.

But back came Dragons as O’Brien’s long pass saw Dyer step Davids and the forwards then went to work before Wainwright bulldozed over to a thunderous ovation.

Dyer leapt high to beat Gelant to a high ball before Blacker looked to pin the visitors back in their own 22.

The topsy turvy nature of the game saw Stormers come back again with wing Davids finishing off pressure out wide. Libbok’s touch line conversion put the South Africans ahead.

A limping O’Brien was replaced by Morgan Lloyd for his debut with ten minutes left as Dragons were forced to shuffle with Hughes into fly half and Blacker onto the wing.

A yellow card to Martinez saw Stormers go to power and Evan Roos was punched over for the winning score.

And the final flourish against 14 men saw Feinberg-Mngomezulu grab a try brace to ease Stormers clear.

Timeline:

08m Reed p 3-0

15m Keddie t 8-0

26m Reed p 11-0

31m Libbok p 11-3

35m Davids t Libbok c 11-10

48m Libbok p 11-13

50m Reed p 14-13

58m Libbok p 14-16

60m Wainwright t O’Brien c 21-16

66m Davids t Libbok c 21-23

73m Roos t Libbok c 21-30

77m Feinberg-Mngomezulu t Libbok c 21-37

80m Feinberg-Mngomezulu t Libbok c 21-44

Dragons RFC: Jordan Williams, Rio Dyer, Steff Hughes, Aneurin Owen, Chris Hollis (Tomkinson 58), Will Reed (O’Brien 58 (Lloyd 70)), Dane Blacker; Rhodri Jones (Martinez 50), Elliot Dee (Coghlan 58), Chris Coleman (Arhip 50), Matthew Screech, George Nott, Sean Lonsdale, Harri Keddie (Basham 55), Aaron Wainwright

Replacements: Brodie Coghlan, Rodrigo Martinez, Dmitri Arhip, James Benjamin, Taine Basham, Morgan Lloyd, Angus O’Brien, Sio Tomkinson

DHL Stormers: Warrick Gelant, Suleiman Hartzenberg, Wandisile Simelane, Dan du Plessis, Angelo Davids, Manie Libbok,Herschel Jantjies; Sti Sithole, Joseph Dweba, Frans Malherbe, Salmaan Moerat, Ruben van Heerden, Willie Engelbrecht, Ben-Jason Dixon, Evan Roos

Replacements: Andre-Hugo Venter, Brok Harris, Neethling Fouche, Adre Smith, Hacjivah Dayimani, Stefan Ungerer, Jean-Luc du Plessis, Sacha Feinberg-Mngomezulu.

Referee: Chris Busby (IRFU, 41st game)

Attendance: 5,121

Ospreys T C D P
1Nicky Smith
-- -- -- --
2Dewi Lake
2 -- -- --
3Tom Botha
-- -- -- --
4James Ratti
-- -- -- --
5Huw Sutton
-- -- -- --
6Jac Morgan
-- -- -- --
7Justin Tipuric
-- -- -- --
8Morgan Morris
-- -- -- --
9Reuben Morgan-Williams
1 -- -- --
10Dan Edwards
-- 3 -- --
11Keelan Giles
-- -- -- --
12Keiran Williams
1 -- -- --
13Tom Florence
-- -- -- --
14Luke Morgan
-- -- -- --
15Jack Walsh
-- -- -- --
Dragons T C D P
-- -- -- --
-- -- -- --
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-- -- -- --
-- -- -- --
-- -- -- --
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1 1 2 --
11Chris Hollis
-- -- -- --
-- -- -- --
-- -- -- --
-- -- -- --
15Ewan Rosser
-- -- -- --
REPLACMENTS
Ospreys T C D P
16Sam Parry
-- -- -- --
17Gareth Thomas
-- -- -- --
18Rhys Henry
-- -- -- --
19Victor Sekekete
-- -- -- --
20Harri Deaves
-- -- -- --
21Luke Davies
-- -- -- --
22Max Nagy
-- -- -- --
23Luke Scully
-- -- -- --
Dragons T C D P
16Brodie Coghlan
-- -- -- --
-- -- -- --
18Dmitri Arhip
-- -- -- --
-- -- -- --
20Ryan Woodman
-- -- -- --
21Morgan Lloyd
-- -- -- --
22Joe Westwood
-- -- -- --
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