BOSS Dean Ryan has called on the Dragons to “get smarter” after they suffered a second-half turnaround against the Ospreys at Rodney Parade.

The hosts led the United Rugby Championship opener in Newport 16-10 at half-time but conceded 17 unanswered points after the restart.

Rhodri Williams darted over to make it a tense finale, adding to Josh Lewis’ try in the opening stages, but the Ospreys held on.

“I was really pleased with elements of the performance, especially in the first half,” said director of rugby Ryan.

“We were very accurate and in possession we looked very dangerous with lots of ball carriers, especially with that back row and Will Rowlands.

“The disappointment is pretty obvious, that 25-minute shift of momentum when we didn’t really understand how to wrench it back.

“We made mistakes at the lineout and made mistakes with penalties that just fed it. We’ve got to get better in those moments.

“It’s about being smart, we let them in by giving penalties away. We’ve got to get smarter and we never understood how to get momentum back.”

South Wales Argus: Dragons boss Dean RyanDragons boss Dean Ryan

The Dragons are next in action against perennial PRO14 champions Leinster in Newport next Sunday.

“We’ve got to get better in all areas,” said Ryan. “They will be a different challenge because they are a possession side and won’t give us the ball back.

“The Ospreys were quite happy to kill the tempo of the game and Leinster won’t be, they will want to keep it up and that will stress us.”

The Ospreys are tippped by many to lead the Welsh charge in the URC and boss Toby Booth was thrilled by a winning start.

"We are delighted with the outcome. It is a very hard place to come and Welsh derbies are tough," he said.

"We had a crowd, which everybody was excited about, and we needed to quell them and early on we did everything but.

"We found a way and I was happy with the way we came back into the contest which we could have easily let go and to get across the line was encouraging."