FOUR months in and Sam Davies is already looking like being one of the most important signings in the short history of the Dragons.

There has been the move for try machine Aled Brew, snaffling Michael Owen after the Celtic Warriors collapsed, the influence on and off the field of Colin Charvis and Tom Willis, the bargain buys of Nic Cudd and Adam Warren, the incredible value of the Rand spent on South African Brok Harris.

It's early days but the signing of Davies from the Ospreys has given real direction and clarity to the start of the Dean Ryan era… and some big wins.

South Wales Argus:

Coaches have been hunting an established 10 since Darren Edwards was at the helm and director of rugby Ryan is lucky enough that he just had to put the finishing touches to the deal.

If Josh Lewis hadn’t suffered injury misfortune in pre-season then it’s unlikely 26-year-old Davies would have been quite such a critical figure in the first half of 2019/20.

Davies has played in 10 of 12 games (sitting out the trip to Enisei-STM and being badly missed against Zebre when on Wales duty) and racked up 548 of 640 possible minutes in the Guinness PRO14.

The clock was in the red on Saturday when the fly-half, who didn’t miss from the tee when kicking 20 points in the vital European Challenge Cup win against Worcester, slotted three points to steal a 22-20 derby win against the Scarlets.

The winner wasn’t a moment that it took a Test-quality fly-half to produce – had Jacob Botica or Arwel Robson been on the pitch then they would probably have slotted the drop goal and would certainly have knocked over the penalty from in front of the sticks.

But Davies’ presence, and his half-back partnership with Argus star man Rhodri Williams, is one that is going to drive the Dragons forward.

The scrum-half’s role should not be underestimated with the 26-year-old ensuring the burden isn’t entirely on the shoulders of the new man at 10.

Williams had a steady firm season at Rodney Parade after moving from Bristol but has stepped up this season.

He is controlling matters with his kicking, marshalling the pack and putting himself about to lead by example after taking over from Cory Hill as captain.

Keep this going and his name will be back in the mix when discussing Wales with a third spot up for grabs behind Tomos Williams and Gareth Davies.

South Wales Argus:

The duo were key figures with their wet-weather game to ensure that the Dragons stayed in the fight against the Scarlets, then stole the spoils late on for the second game running after their Judgement Day upset.

Under Ryan the region looks well-coached, organised and clear of mind.

Miracles don’t happen overnight and there are still moments of huge frustration – let’s not forget the heavy home losses to Connacht and Zebre – but the progress in the first months of the Ryan regime is clear to see even if the boss is keen to keep quiet about it.

Moments like Saturday are vital towards that and essential if the Dragons are to flourish as an organisation.

There were over 3,000 spare spaces at Rodney Parade for a Welsh derby; that is not a good look even when there are excuses about wet weather and a 5.15pm kick-off on a Saturday before Christmas.

There was a sizeable Scarlets contingent that won’t be followed by Ospreys fans on the first weekend of January, so at least the last-gasp drama should ensure the Dragons fans that were present will return.

Hopefully they’ll ask some friends to join them.

It was an engrossing derby despite the horrible conditions with lots of drama and action in the first half and very little in the second until the late drama.

The Scarlets were close to opening the scoring after just nine seconds when Williams, in what thankfully turned out to be a rare error, dropped the kick-off and Leigh Halfpenny won the race to Gareth Davies’ hack through.

The Lions full-back was adjudged to have knocked on by the TMO and instead had to settle for being the first scorer with the boot.

South Wales Argus:

Davies responded with three penalties – one of which came after Aaron Wainwright bombed a try with a loose pass – but the momentum swung on a yellow card.

Dragons lock Matthew Screech was sent to the sin bin after illegally stopping a lineout drive on his line and it cost the Dragons 14 points.

Scrum-half Davies sniped over from a scrum and hooker Ken Owens followed after a mighty 20-metre drive.

The Dragons got the response they needed just before the break when captain Williams pointed to the corner rather than the posts.

The drive was stopped but impressive full-back Will Talbot-Davies went close with a strong run before the defence parted to allow the skipper to snipe over.

Fly-half Davies made it 17-16 and that’s how it stayed entering the closing stages, with the sole clear opportunity of the second half wasted by Scarlets wing Johnny McNicholl.

Replacement fly-half Ryan Lamb found him with a cross-kick but the Wales hopeful spilt the ball, with wing Ashton Hewitt rewarded for his desperate scramble to put some pressure on.

That meant the clock was in the 70s when Davies and Halfpenny battled to be the last-gasp hero.

The Dragons slotted a penalty to make it 19-17, the Scarlet responded, the Dragon missed from the tee.

The hosts had one last chance but were stuck on halfway… but good passes by Tyler Morgan, Cory Hill and Talbot-Davies worked Hewitt some space and he somehow worked towards the 22.

A strong carry by Aaron Jarvis was followed by penalty advantage, and then the bedlam after Davies’ drop goal.

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