United Rugby Championship: Ospreys and Cardiff seal derby victories over Scarlets and Dragons

The Ospreys secured only their second win of the United Rugby Championship season when they beat the Scarlets 34-14 in their West Wales derby in Swansea on Monday.

The home side were deserved winners as they outscored their Welsh rivals by five tries to two but the Scarlets were on the back foot for most of the match after Argentina flanker Tomas Lezana was red carded in the fourth minute for foul play.

Lezana received his marching orders for a head-on-head tackle on Ospreys second-row Rhys Davies and the visitors found the going tough during the rest of the match.

But the Scarlets would have been frustrated when Ospreys fly-half Owen Williams was only shown a yellow card for a similar head-on-head tackle on his opposite number Sam Costelow midway through the first half.

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The home side were still made to work for the win with the extra man, with Wales and Lions wing Alex Cuthbert, wing Luke Morgan, captain Rhys Webb, replacement hooker Sam Parry and centre Keiran Williams all crossing for tries.

Despite Ospreys’ numerical advantage for most of this match, the expected avalanche of points for having an extra man never came.

Cuthbert crossed for the game’s first try after a driving lineout close to the Scarlets line, touching down over in the corner from short range.

The home side soon had their second try after a dominant scrum in the shadow of the visitors’ posts and wing Morgan slid in at the corner after a miss pass by Williams.

The fly-half added the conversion to make it 12-0 to the Ospreys before Williams was shown a yellow card for his head-on-head tackle on Costelow.

The Scarlets took full advantage with both sides down to 14 men when lock Sione Kalamafoni hit a good angle after a period of pressure to score for the visitors.

Scrum-half Webb replied almost straight away when he ran in from 25 metres, shaking off tackles by Rhys Patchell and Johnny McNicholl to cross near the posts. With fly-half Williams sin-binned, Webb converted his own try to make it 19-7 at half-time.

Kalamafoni looked to have crossed for his second try straight after the break but he was held up after an impressive charge from the back of a scrum.

The Scarlets did cross for the try when Webb’s pass was intercepted by full-back McNicholl and he raced on from the halfway line to haul his side back to within five points.

The Ospreys replied with a Williams penalty and tries by replacement hooker Parry and centre Williams to secure the bonus-point win.

Cardiff late show seals win over the Dragons

In the day’s early match, Cardiff maintained their impressive winning run over the Dragons with a hard-fought 29-24 victory in a thrilling derby at Rodney Parade.

The Gwent region haven’t beaten their fierce rivals since December 2014 and while Dragons competed fiercely, the visitors just held an attacking edge which saw them score four tries to two – but it took them until the last minute to secure victory.

Tomos Williams scored two tries for Cardiff, Josh Adams and Corey Domachowski the others, with Jarrod Evans kicking a penalty and three conversions.

Rio Dyer and Harrison Keddie grabbed Dragons’ tries with JJ Hanrahan adding four penalties and a conversion.

A burst from Adams took Cardiff into the opposition 22 but Rhys Priestland was unable to give them an early lead as his penalty attempt from the touchline sailed wide.

Dragons then had the first try-scoring opportunity when a thrilling run down the left-hand touchline saw Ashton Hewitt evade a couple of defenders to touch down but the wing was adjudged to have put a foot in touch.

The home side suffered another blow when hooker Bradley Roberts was yellow-carded for kicking out at Thomas Young, with the Cardiff flanker lucky to escape a similar sanction for his retaliation.

However, Dragons were still first to score with two penalties in quick succession from Hanrahan before Roberts returned from the sin-bin with no damage done to the scoreboard.

Cardiff were second best in the opening half-hour but they raised their game to score the opening try. Surges from Rhys Carre and Taulupe Faletau put the defence on the back foot for Williams to score.

Priestland was injured in the movement to depart with an ankle injury so it was his replacement Evans who converted to put his side in front.

Two minutes later the visitors scored again when an alert Williams took the action to the blindside where skilful passing provided Adams with an easy run-in.

Evans converted but Dragons remained in contention with their first try.

Hewitt again skinned Owen Lane on the outside and when the ball was recycled, excellent distribution culminated with Dyer flying over in the corner to leave his side trailing 14-11 at the interval.

Cardiff extended their advantage 11 minutes after the restart when Adams chipped through for Williams to collect and score his second try.

Cardiff lost Adams with a leg injury before Hanrahan and Evans exchanged penalties to set up a tense final quarter.

Dragons struck next when Keddie crashed over from a driving line-out which Hanrahan converted before he kicked his fourth penalty to put his side in front with nine minutes remaining.

Ben Thomas missed a long-range penalty for Cardiff but they stole victory with 40 seconds left on the clock with a try from Domachowski, who drove over from close range, with Evans adding the extras.

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