Ospreys wing George North ran the full gamut of emotions at the Liberty Stadium, scoring a well-taken try before minute later being sent off for a reckless challenge on Ashton Hewitt.

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North took just seven minutes to barge his way over for his side’s opening try in their Guinness PRO14 derby clash with the Dragons. After a 5-month plus wait for rugby to return, it was a fitting way to mark the Ospreys’ return to the Liberty Stadium.

A star of the British and Irish Lions in 2013 and scorer of 40 tries for Wales, North has had his fair share of criticism in recent years, with some feeling the hulking, north Wales wing is past his best. A mediocre Six Nations campaign was grist to the mill for his detractors.

The 28-years-old’s try of 7 minutes certainly defied that view of North. A brilliant break up the centre of the pitch by scrumhalf Rhys Webb eventually saw the ball spun out wide to North who was waiting out on the wing. The 6’4, 109kg wing didn’t need to be asked twice, bouncing off the attention of Ashton Hewitt and the covering tackle of Dafydd Howells, before crashing over the line.

It may not have been vintage George North but it was an impressively taken try. However, it all turned sour just six minutes later when he was given a straight red for an awkward challenge that left Hewitt sprawled on the turf.

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North collided with an airborne Hewitt, spinning the Dragons wing who landed awkwardly on his back. Referee Adam Jones sent him on his way.

OSPREYS: Dan Evans; George North, Owen Watkin, Kieran Williams, Luke Morgan; Stephen Myler, Rhys Webb; Nicky Smith, Sam Parry, Tom Botha, Adam Beard, Alun Wyn Jones, Olly Cracknell, Justin Tipuric (capt), Morgan Morris. Reps: Dewi Lake, Gareth Thomas, Nicky Thomas, Bradley Davies, Will Griffiths, Reuben Morgan-Williams, Josh Thomas, Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler.

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DRAGONS: Dafydd Howells; Owen Jenkins, Nick Tompkins, Jack Dixon, Ashton Hewitt; Sam Davies (capt), Tavis Knoyle; Brok Harris, Richard Hibbard, Leon Brown, Matthew Screech, Joe Maksymiw, Ben Fry, Taine Basham, Ross Moriarty. Reps: Ellis Shipp, Conor Maguire, Chris Coleman, Joe Davies, Aaron Wainwright, Luke Baldwin, Arwel Robson, Adam Warren.

Referee: Adam Jones (WRU, PRO14 debut)

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