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Wales qualified Michael Collins double helps Ospreys slay Dragons

By PA
Michael Collins. (Photo by Teaukura Moetaua/Getty Images)

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Michael Collins scored two tries to get the Ospreys’ United Rugby Championship season off to a winning start as they beat the Dragons 27-23 at Rodney Parade.

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Dragons started well to lead at half-time but slowly but surely the visitors became the dominant force to pick up the points.

Luke Morgan scored Ospreys’ third try with Gareth Anscombe kicking two penalties and three conversions.

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Josh Lewis and Rhodri Williams scored tries for Dragons with Sam Davies kicking two penalties and two conversions as well as landing a drop goal.

Ospreys suffered two early blows. First captain Rhys Webb departed for an HIA and in his absence Dragons took the lead when Lewis raced on to a well-judged kick from Davies to score.

The visitors’ woes continued when centre Owen Watkin was yellow-carded for an illegal clear-out on Dragons flanker Ollie Griffiths, with Davies extending the hosts’ lead with a penalty.

Webb was able to return in time to see Collins reduce the arrears as the New Zealander, who was making his debut for the region, tore through the defence to sore an excellent solo try.

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Davies kicked his second penalty before Watkin returned from the sin-bin but Dragons still picked up the next score with a neat drop goal from Davies.

A penalty from Anscombe kept Ospreys in contention but Dragons just shaded the half and deservedly led 16-10 at the interval.

Another Anscombe penalty was the first score of the second half before Dragons lost centre Jack Dixon to the sin-bin for a deliberate offside after Mat Protheroe had split the defence with an elusive run.

The Ospreys immediately capitalised on Dixon’s absence with a second try for Collins to put them in front for the first time before a break from Anscombe sent Morgan over.

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Adam Beard came on for his first appearance for the Ospreys since returning from the Lions tour while the Dragons introduced Jamie Roberts and Williams in an attempt to reverse their fortunes.

The visitors sought to protect Anscombe, who was playing his first league match for over two years, by taking him off with 10 minutes remaining and Dragons took advantage when Williams darted his way to score and set up a tense finish but Ospreys held on.

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Wales qualified Michael Collins double helps Ospreys slay Dragons

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