sport

Ospreys end year on a high

The Ospreys boosted their hopes of making the RaboDirect Pro12 play-offs with a 14-3 win over Newport Gwent Dragons on New Year's Eve.

Tries from Eli Walker and Ashley Beck, both converted by Dan Biggar, were enough for the visitors to come away from Rodney Parade with a four-point haul and complete a satisfying festive period following their 32-3 success against the Scarlets on Boxing Day.

Walker gave the Ospreys a flying start in the third minute when he was released on the left wing by full-back Richard Fussell and video official Paul Adams ruled he just managed to get the ball down under pressure from opposite number Will Harries. Biggar added the extras for a 5-0 lead.

Dragons wing Tom Prydie got his side on the board with a 13th-minute penalty, awarded when Richard Hibbard took out his fellow Wales international Toby Faletau after a kick ahead.

Ospreys stand-off Biggar missed two difficult penalty chances to stretch his side's lead before half-time, one from wide out and the other from 43 metres.

Replacement centre Beck made a quick impression after coming off the bench, pouncing on a charged-down kick from Dragons fly-half Lewis Robling to get the Ospreys' second try in the 62nd minute.

Biggar's conversion opened an 11-point advantage and the Ospreys were able to close out their eighth league victory of the season without alarm.

The win moves them up to fifth, one point outside of the play-off places, while the Dragons remain second from bottom - 10 points adrift of Cardiff Blues for the third Heineken Cup spot for a Welsh region.