SAM Davies was the last-gasp hero as the Dragons stunned the Scarlets in a tense Guinness PRO14 derby.

Minutes earlier the Wales fly-half pulled a penalty that would have edged them ahead, a fate remarkably similar to when he had missed from the tee for the Ospreys in the last festive period in Newport.

The chance looked to have gone but the Dragons managed to repeat last season’s Judgement Day upset against the play-off hopefuls from the west.

They played from deep and wing Ashton Hewitt and full-back Will Talbot-Davies took play into the 22.

Referee Ben Whitehouse, who managed to infuriate both sets of supporters equally, signalled penalty advantage for offside.

That took the pressure off Davies and he nailed his left-footed shot to nothing, slotting a drop goal to spark bedlam.

There may have been a disappointing crowd of 5,517 but those that weren’t in scarlet made up for it with their celebrations.

It had looked like the Dragons’ fight and tenacity against title contenders – with captain Rhodri Williams leading from the front – was going to earn a consolation bonus.

Instead it earned four ahead of the derbies against Cardiff Blues at the Arms Park and the Ospreys in Newport.

It was arguably against the run of play but director of rugby Dean Ryan won’t complain after his first taste of Welsh regional head-to-heads.

The Dragons made a fly-half their number one priority in the transfer market and it paid off again; Davies pulled the strings brilliantly against Worcester last weekend and repeated the trick with the key moment this evening.

South Wales Argus:

The Dragons had a lucky escape right from the kick-off when Rhodri Williams, who was excellent at the restarts versus Worcester the previous week, spilt the ball.

Opposite number Gareth Davies hacked it on but full-back Leigh Halfpenny knocked on going for the line after just nine seconds, the TMO giving the red light rather than the green one after a tight call.

The Lions star was denied a five-pointer but soon added three from the tee only for Dragons fly-half Sam Davies respond with a pair of penalties for a 6-3 lead after eight minutes.

A dust-up ensued after the Scarlets went close from a five-metre lineout – Elliot Dee in the thick of it for the Dragons – and then it took fine scrambling defence by wing Ashton Hewitt to deny livewire Davies.

It was the other scrum-half’s break that then prompted the next score with home captain Rhodri Williams bursting down the blindside and into the 22.

The Dragons should have been over for the first try only for Aaron Wainwright’s pass to be behind centre Adam Warren with speedsters Will Talbot-Davies and Hewitt waiting on the left, however the Scarlets were penalised close to their line and Davies made it 9-3.

But the game turned due to the hosts’ indiscipline that saw penalties kicked to the corner and then lock Matthew Screech sin-binned.

South Wales Argus:

It was costly with scrum-half Davies sniping over from a five-metre scrum, after wrong-footing Wales teammate Wainwright, and then the Scarlets pack making the most of their man advantage to drive over from nearly 20 metres, hooker Ken Owens getting the reward for hitting his jumper.

Halfpenny converted both for a 17-9 lead after half an hour and the Dragons decided they needed to respond with tries, turning down shots at goal for driving lineouts.

It was a brave call by captain Williams and he made sure it was the right one by dummying and sniping over himself with Scarlets loosehead Wyn Jones yellow-carded for afters.

Davies converted to cut the gap to 17-16 and should have been able to earn the half-time lead only for a penalty to be reversed when centre Jack Dixon foolishly tackled a Scarlet in the air.

The Scarlets came close to scoring their third eight minutes after the restart when replacement fly-half Ryan Lamb kicked cleverly to the right wing.

Johnny McNicholl looked sure to score only to knock on under pressure from the scrambling Hewitt.

The error count was rising in the rain and Ryan looked to freshen up his pack with the introduction of Wales internationals Ross Moriarty (present), Richard Hibbard and Aaron Jarvis (both past).

A pair of crucial jackal penalties by Brok Harris and Tyler Morgan earned the Dragons a chance to get their noses back in front from a driving lineout – the penalty was just out of Davies’ range – but the Scarlets defended strongly and it remained a one-point game going into the final quarter.

The boot was used by both teams for territory, trying to force a mistake and it came from the Scarlets who were offside in midfield.

Davies made no mistake and the Dragons had their lead back in the 74th minute only to botch the restart and allow Halfpenny to punish a lineout escape.

Back it swung to the hosts and it looked like Davies was going to be left with regrets… instead he was the toast of Newport.

Dragons: W Talbot-Davies, O Jenkins (T Morgan 39), A Warren, J Dixon, A Hewitt, S Davies, R Williams (captain, T Knoyle 61), B Harris, E Dee (R Hibbard 53), L Brown (A Jarvis 53), J Davies (B Nansen 66), M Screech, C Hill, T Basham (R Moriarty 46), A Wainwright.

Scorers: try – R Williams; conversion – S Davies; penalties – S Davies (4); drop goal – S Davies

Scarlets: L Halfpenny, J McNicholl, S Hughes, H Parkes, S Evans, D Jones, G Davies, W Jones, K Owens (captain), S Lee, J Ball, S Lousi, A Shingler, J Macleod, U Cassiem. Replacements: R Elias, P Price, J Sebastian, T Ratuva, B Thomson, K Hardy, R Lamb, C Baldwin.

Scorers: tries – G Davies, K Owens; conversions – L Halfpenny (2); penalties – L Halfpenny (2)

Referee: Ben Whitehouse (WRU)

Attendance: 5,517

Argus star man: Rhodri Williams