Fly-half Steffan Jones landed six penalties for Newport Gwent Dragons as the Ospreys saw their chances of reaching the latter stages of the LV= Cup take a big knock with defeat at a drenched Rodney Parade.
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Man of the match Jones booted the Dragons to their first win in the competition this season although the feisty match only came to life in the final quarter after Ospreys flanker Jonathan Thomas scored the only try of the evening.
Matthew Morgan kicked three penalties for the visitors but they were not helped by having to play 20 minutes of the match with 14 men through two sin-bins against one for the Dragons.
The defeat leaves the Ospreys third in Pool Four with five points from their three matches, while Newport remain bottom of Pool One with four points.
The match was held up for six minutes early on after a horrible injury to home wing Michael Poole.
The 26-year-old, who has suffered a couple of other nasty injuries in the past, went down under a double tackle from the Ospreys defence. He remained motionless as medics raced on to his aid and play was stopped before he was stretchered off with his left ankle in a brace
It was a bad start for Newport, who lost both of their opening cup matches, but, when play resumed, it got better as Jones won the battle of the boot, which dominated the opening period.
He landed three penalties against one from Morgan but that was little reward for the West Walians as they played against 14 men when home number eight Ieuan Jones was sin-binned for deliberately not rolling away from a ruck under his own posts.
However, that man advantage for the Ospreys was wiped out when their number eight Morgan Allen also saw yellow as the referee penalised the visitors for persistent infringements.
There were a couple of try chances during the half but, as the rain swept in, the game turned into a muddy stand-off between two determined packs and stubborn defences.
And, when the Dragons gave away kickable penalties within range of their posts, Morgan made them pay with two efforts to level the game at 9-9 as the break.
It was all rather static after the restart as well before the Ospreys put themselves in the driving seat.
It all stemmed from a kick into the in-goal area from Morgan that wing Matthew Pewtner touched and gave the visitors an advantage. They took a lineout just metres from the Dragons line well, rucked the ball and then former Wales back row Thomas twisted his way for the first try of the evening.
And, from there, the game suddenly sprang into life as Jones booted his fifth penalty and there was great effort from both packs to develop the midfield.
But the Ospreys again found themselves down to 14 men in a critical part of the match when skipper and scrum-half Rhys Webb high-tackled home number eight Jones and found himself yellow-carded with 11 minutes left.
Jones made the Ospreys pay for more indiscipline with his sixth and final penalty and, despite some later pressure, the home line held firm to deny the 2008 winners.