The shackles came off as Dragons RFC ended their long wait for a URC win at Rodney Parade.
Dragons scoring a 20-5 Welsh derby victory over the Ospreys. It was a first win at their Newport home since October 2022 and a first success in the BKT URC this season after four defeats.
“I am really proud of the group. We spoke pre-match about just taking our shackles off” Head coach Dai Flanagan. “We had felt the heat of results and we looked like we were playing within ourselves”.
Dragons RFC fell behind early on, with Mat Protheroe touching down for the Ospreys. However, the winger, went from hero to villain as he was red carded for head-on-head contact with fly-half Will Reed on 28 minutes.
Capitalising on their extra-man, the hosts established a 13-5 half-time lead. Then, the Ospreys were reduced to 13 men following a yellow card for their other wing Luke Morgan.
Dragons RFC exploited the space out wide by sending Rio Dyer scorching down the touchline for a try.
The BKT Player of the Match award went to their full-back Cai Evans, who landed four successful kicks at goal and was a constant threat when entering the line, as demonstrated by his scoring pass for Wales wing Dyer.
The Ospreys will now look to bounce back in next Sunday’s clash with local rivals the Scarlets in Swansea.
Benetton Beaten At Last
There are now no unbeaten teams in the BKT URC. Benetton having suffered their first defeat of the season, going down 26-12 to Glasgow Warriors at a rain-soaked Scotstoun.
Next up for Glasgow Warriors will be a home fixture against fellow pacesetters Ulster. Whereas, both teams having racked up four wins from the opening five BKT URC rounds.
As for Ulster, they came from 14-7 down at the break to beat the Emirates Lions 24-17 in Belfast. Meanwhile, Leinster ran in eight tries as they thumped the Scarlets 54-5.
In the rematch of last season’s Grand Final, title holders Munster came out on top against the DHL Stormers once again!
Second row Edwin Edogbo scoring the only try of the game amid a hard-fought 10-3 win at a wet and windy Thomond Park.
Last, but certainly not least, Connacht claimed a first ever win in South Africa as they beat the Hollywoodbets Sharks 13-12 in Durban.
Player-of-the-Match JJ Hanrahan landing three shots at goal to add to an early try from No 8 Sean O’Brien.
The Sharks are now the only team without a win after the first five rounds of URC matches. Whereas, all four South African sides lost on the weekend.
Player Of The Weekend Lopeti Timani (Cardiff Rugby)
The Tongan international could have done no more. Timani put in a remarkable 27 carries during Cardiff’s clash with Zebre Parma in Italy.
The Tongan capped his tireless display with a smartly taken try. Pocketing a pass one-handed and stretching out for the line as he dipped back inside.
In the end, Timani was denied the win his performance deserved. Zebre Parma claimed a converted try in the 86th minute to snatch a 22-22 draw.
But he is really finding his feet now in his second season with Cardiff Rugby and is clearly relishing playing in his preferred position of No 8.