THE Dragons stunned the Scarlets at the death to win a Judgement Day thriller. Here are the talking points from the Guinness PRO14 clash at Principality Stadium…


The Dragons put their supporters through another season of hell but they put smiles on faces by signing off with their best effort.

Many of us experienced the rare feeling of looking forward to watching the action back on Premier Player.

The victory against the Ospreys in December was brilliant but this eclipsed it, and it was no fluke win.

The Dragons deserved the victory and the fight, determination and guts that they showed is what their fans demand as a minimum.

Their budget means the region will never be mixing it at the top of the Guinness PRO14 but there is no reason why they can’t put noses out of joint more often.

Campaign Series: CELEBRATION: Ceri Jones with Ross MoriartyCELEBRATION: Ceri Jones with Ross Moriarty


Ceri Jones has done a fine job in testing circumstances after the sacking of Bernard Jackman, even if the results haven’t shown that.

The caretaker head coach called the shots when the Ospreys were beaten to end the four-year derby drought and has now helped the Dragons break their Judgement Day duck.

Sadly the Principality Stadium clash was a home game so it hasn’t ended their long, embarrassing wait for a win on the road in the PRO14.

However, it was an important step towards ensuring that travel sickness doesn’t continue beyond the opening months of 2018/19.

Jones was interviewed for the role of head coach last week but it will be something of a surprise if he gets the nod next week ahead of the more experienced candidates such as Graham Rowntree, Dean Ryan and Rob Howley.

However, the former prop should be an influential figure in trying to build a more uncompromising team.


The Dragons have been smashed up front by the Scarlets in recent years but by standing firm at the scrum they denied the west Walians any easy ways to ramp up the pressure.

Tighthead Lloyd Fairbrother justified his selection ahead of Leon Brown and seemed to get under the skin of Wyn Jones while all five of his fellow front rowers also produced the goods.

The Dragons have increased their depth across all three positions this season and, with Aaron Jarvis the only injury absentee, Ceri Jones was in a position where he has confidence in those on the bench.

If they could find room in their small budget to bring in another lock to add to their ranks then that would help matters.

Campaign Series: TRY TIME: Matthew Screech powers overTRY TIME: Matthew Screech powers over


Aaron Wainwright deservedly won the man of the match honour after another remarkable display of hard graft and big hits – the flanker keeps strengthening his case to be part of Warren Gatland’s 31-man World Cup squad.

But it was pleasing that one of the other leading figures on a big stage was a player who keeps producing the goods for the Dragons.

Lock Matthew Screech scored two powerful finishes from close range and was vital in tenaciously taking it to the Scarlets up front.

The 26-year-old has started every game since Clermont Auvergne on December 15 – 14 fixtures on the spin – and has quietly become an influential figure at the heart of the pack.

Screech signing a new contract was overshadowed last month by the announcement of Hallam Amos’ departure a few hours later but it was good business by the Dragons, especially if the lock can keep growing his game.


It could well be that Jason Tovey’s final touch at the Dragons is slotting a match-winning conversion at Principality Stadium.

The left-footer is out of contract this summer and with money tight it remains to be seen whether his third spell at Rodney Parade, which came about because of injuries and a lack of trust in newly-pro Jacob Botica, will be extended.

However, Tovey’s return from Cross Keys has been a success and it is no coincidence that bringing him back has brought the best out of Josh Lewis.

Whatever unfolds over the coming weeks and months, Tovey has put the finishing touches on the Dragons’ two magical moments of the season.

Against the Ospreys there were seven minutes left at Rodney Parade when he slotted a penalty from wide on the left and against the Scarlets the clock hit 79 just as the posts went green.

Tovey holding his nerve has helped to provide two peaks in a campaign of lengthy troughs.