DAI Flanagan says the Dragons need to be smarter after paying the price for indiscipline in a 26-13 defeat to the Ospreys.

The Swansea side kept alive their slim hopes of the United Rugby Championship play-offs thanks to a bonus-point win out west.

Hooker Dewi Lake (2), scrum-half Reuben Morgan-Williams and centre Keiran Williams went over for the Ospreys while fly-half Will Reed crossed for the Dragons.

However, the key moments came at the end of the first half when Wales number eight Aaron Wainwright was shown yellow for a lineout offence as the penalty count racked up, then at 7-6 with the clock in the red, scrum-half Dane Blacker joined him in the sin bin for slapping the ball out of Justin Tipuric’s hand.

The Ospreys scored three of their four tries when they had a numerical advantage while they caused mayhem with their powerful scrum.

South Wales Argus: DESPAIR: The Dragons suffered a 26-13 defeat to the Ospreys in SwanseaDESPAIR: The Dragons suffered a 26-13 defeat to the Ospreys in Swansea (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

“There were two areas of the game that we were completely dominated in but what doesn’t help is when that frustration spills into phase-play defence and attacking the ball,” said head coach Flanagan.

“Sometimes you have to take your medicine and say ‘we are not in the game there, because there is a clearly dominant team, let’s be cleaner everywhere else’.

“We weren’t and that fed them, we went down to 13 men and there was a massive momentum swing.

“They had smarts in abundance, with Justin Tipuric being around the ball and he got a lot of decisions. Rightly so, because he was there first.

“We didn’t have the smarts and our challenge is for the youngsters to learn. I am excited by that because Joe Westwood and Ryan Woodman were excellent while Chris Hollis gives us something we haven’t got in Welsh rugby.

“But the game starts in certain areas and we couldn’t compete in them.”

The Dragons are now confirmed as finishing bottom of the Welsh sides in the URC ahead of their Judgement Day finale against the Scarlets.

Had they scrambled a bonus point then it would have given them a shot at overtaking the men from Llanelli with a win at Cardiff City Stadium on June 1.

South Wales Argus: Dragons boss Dai FlanaganDragons boss Dai Flanagan (Image: Huw Evans Agency)

“For 26 minutes we were good, we were disciplined and they were frustrated. It got to a pinch-point where they realised they had us in areas and they went to them,” said Flanagan.

“That’s where the rest of our game has to be clean and the critical moment, let’s not hide, was the tap-down yellow card.

“We were getting Aaron Wainwright back within seconds and were getting back to 15 versus 15 at 7-6. Then for an unknown reason we decided to collapse.

“I can’t believe the scoreline because I am very depressed after a 26-13 defeat when we could have had Sean Lonsdale, Sio Tomkinson over the line, but it wasn’t a great performance from us.”