BERNARD Jackman would have been dancing in his Newport living room after the Dragons withstood a late Edinburgh charge for a precious 18-12 win at Rodney Parade.

A double by Jared Rosser, eight points from the left boot of Jason Tovey and then a nerve-shredding defensive stand at the death earned a first Guinness PRO14 win since September.

The four points meant that they climb off the bottom of Conference B and exceed last season’s pathetic tally of two league victories.

Yet it was too close for comfort with the Dragons, who missed the chance to put the game to bed when Tovey slipped attempting a late penalty, having to defend for 25 phases in their 22.

It was Wales prop Leon Brown who seemed to make the telling turnover to spark wild scenes.

Head coach Jackman was not able to join the post-match celebrations courtesy of his two-week stadium ban for an outburst about Welsh referee Ian Davies.

That he missed an encounter with opposite number Richard Cockerill, who slammed Davies earlier in the season without censure, would surely have prompted a rueful grin.

But he will have watched on with pride as his players dug deep to get the job done – the Irishman was able to head to the kitchen for a cool can to celebrate rather than putting his boot through the television in frustration.

It was a must-win game ahead of a solid streak of fixtures that pits them against champions Leinster in Newport, away to Northampton and Clermont Auvergne in Europe and then Cardiff Blues and the Ospreys in festive derbies.

That the Dragons took the spoils owed a great deal to the return of talisman Ollie Griffiths, who was simply magnificent on his return from a hip injury.

He clearly intends to keep giving Warren Gatland another problem and was at the heart of the Dragons' efforts, carrying with dynamism, putting in tackles and empyting the tank.

South Wales Argus:

The absence of Jackman had wags pondering whether the Dragons are better off without the head coach at the helm.

Such jibes were a tad harsh as the Irishman led the preparations for the clash – and the team met for a pre-match briefing in the Holiday Inn in The Coldra – before handing the reins to assistants Ceri Jones and Barry Maddocks.

Whether the team could put those plans into practice held the key.

The Dragons bossed the opening proceedings with Griffiths, slotting in at number eight, making a big difference with his dynamism with ball in hand.

Their reward was a 10th minute penalty by Jason Tovey after Wales Under-20s international turned Scotland cap Luke Hamilton was pinged at the breakdown under his posts.

The Scots grew into the game but the Dragons held firm in defence, thankfully after their recent troubles led to the departure of Hendre Marnitz, and reaped the benefit after 25 minutes.

Amos claimed a box-kick expertly and then full-back Jordan Williams exploited a gap in the defensive line to jink through and draw the last man to send Jared Rosser flying down the right and he went past scrum-half Henry Pyrgos’ weak tackle.

Tovey converted for a 10-0 lead but Edinburgh then went on the charge and weren’t content with just getting the scoreboard ticking with three points.

They turned down shots at goal in favour of hammering away through the pack via the scrum and one-out running.

The Dragons somehow escaped without a sin bin and, by the skin of their teeth, their line intact after Edinburgh had a try chalked off.

Centre Chris Dean ran hard from a five-metre scrum and dotted the ball down only for the TMO to rule that he had been tackled by openside Nic Cudd before reaching over with a second effort.

The hosts escaped on that occasion but the Scots had the final say of the half to get the score that their toil deserved.

Another three points was turned down in favour of the corner and they played on with penalty advantage until Dean burst through midfield – Rhodri Williams raced out of the line, Tyler Morgan then slipped – before staying calm to put full-back Dougie Fife over down the right.

The Dragons held a 10-5 lead as they received the half-time instructions of Jones and Maddocks, who no doubt stressed the importance of staying out of their 22 against Edinburgh’s heavy runners.

Yet it was loose lips that gave the hosts a chance to stretch beyond a score five minutes after the restart only for Tovey’s penalty, after Dean’s back-chat to South Africa ref Stuart Berry, to fall short.

Nonetheless, the Dragons had started well with Griffiths at the heart of so much of their good work with his powerful carrying – his display at number eight eclipsed those by Wales star Ross Moriarty in regional colours so far this term.

The action was all towards the North Terrace and finally the Dragons cracked their visitors after a snipe by Rhodri Williams to within five metres.

Tovey stayed calm and flung a wide pass out to Jordan Williams on the right and he put Rosser over for his second and a 15-5 lead after 55 minutes.

They stayed on top and the pack earned more breathing space with a strong scrum to earn a penalty that Tovey knocked between the posts.

But it was back in the balance when Edinburgh scored with a rapid break from Scotland wing Darcy Graham, who just got the ball down despite Amos’ desperate cover.

Replacement fly-half Jaco van der Walt converted and it was 18-12 with 12 minutes left.

The Dragons were a mistake away from losing it but kept their composure and when a lineout was dragged down Tovey had the chance to seal the win.

Alas, he lost his footing and the game remained in the balance with unbearable tension as Edinburgh ended the game in the Dragons’ 22.

Thankfully they couldn’t barge their way over for a cruel winner.

Dragons: J Williams, J Rosser, T Morgan, J Sage, H Amos, J Tovey, R Williams (R Davies 63), R Bevington (A Jarvis 71), R Hibbard (captain), L Fairbrother (L Brown 52), R Landman (B Nansen 57), L Evans, H Keddie, N Cudd, O Griffiths.

Scorers: tries – J Rosser (2); conversion – J Tovey; penalties – J Tovey (2) Edinburgh: D Fife, D Graham, J Johnstone, C Dean (JP Socino 60), D van der Merwe, S Hickey (J van der Walt 55), H Pyrgos (S Kennedy ), P Schoeman (R Sutherland 63), R Ford (D Cherry 61), P Ceccarelli (M McCallum 60), J Hodgson (C Atkinson 61), C Hunter-Hill, B Toolis, A Miller (L Wynne 63), L Hamilton.

Scorers: tries – D Fife, D Graham; conversion – J van der Walt

Referee: Stuart Berry (South Africa)

Attendance: 4,152

Argus star man: Ollie Griffiths