DRAGONS boss Dean Ryan lauded “superstar” Rio Dyer after the Wales Sevens international helped stun the Ospreys at Rodney Parade.

The 20-year-old from Newport made his first appearance since March 2018 after Ashton Hewitt withdrew with a calf niggle.

With Owen Jenkins set to miss the next six weeks after undergoing an ankle operation and the Dragons already without Jordan Williams and Daf Howells, director of rugby Ryan turned to the Wales Sevens international rather than field centre Adam Warren out wide.

Dyer rewarded that call with an excellent performance to earn the official PRO14 man of the match honour, largely thanks to his first senior try in the 76th minute to level the scores.

South Wales Argus:

That five-pointer was followed by replacement Warren’s last-gasp try as the Dragons burgled the derby honours to add to the Ospreys’ woes.

“I just said to him, 'I've got a feeling you're going to be a superstar, I can see two or three tries in you,” said Ryan.

“He had been training for Ashton across the week but not necessarily in the belief that he was going to play.

“Rio probably knew 24 hours ago (that he was going to play), and today for certain, but he is full of that confidence that young men have.

“We’ve just got to keep working with him, because we always knew that going forward (with the ball) he is outstanding.

“They came after him a bit and he did a really good job to just hold his own, stay in the contest and wait for his chance. He did that really well.

“We also recognise that he is a young man and he also has lots of things to work on.”

South Wales Argus:

The Dragons were hanging on at 18-13 when Ospreys number eight Morgan Morris was held up over the line approaching the hour.

They stuck in the contest to steal the spoils and back up their pre-Christmas derby win against the Scarlets.

“If you had talked to me at half-time I thought we were in the game,” said Ryan. “In attack we were causing them all sorts of problems, although we knew that we had a problem at the breakdown.

“We couldn’t get enough fast ball but felt if we got field position we could trouble them… and never got anything for 20 minutes.

“That is probably as poor as we have been for a while at trying to manage that situation and suddenly we were sucked into a game that didn’t suit us.

“That was a static game, they kicked everything after one phase and were trying to keep us in there, and we were trying to open up. We had to be patient and wait, and that’s why I am so impressed with this group.

“They stayed together, because it’s not a game we necessarily deserved to win, it’s a game we had to hang in there to win.”