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The regions produced two classic festive Welsh derbies in front of large, loud and passionate crowds this weekend as supporters of professional rugby in Wales flocked to watch the Guinness PRO12 action in great numbers.

A huge away win for Newport Gwent Dragons against local rivals Cardiff Blues was followed by an equally tight victory for Ospreys at their Liberty Stadium home, where they just overcame near-neighbours Scarlets.

The supporters who produced electric atmospheres at both matches were rewarded with plenty of tension and drama and all four regions will be looking forward to similarly large crowds in the next leg of these festive Welsh derbies this weekend.

Cardiff Blues 17 – Newport Gwent Dragons 23

Newport Gwent Dragons beat Cardiff Blues at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park for only the second time in the region’s history when they came up trumps against their East Wales rivals on Boxing Day in a packed festive Welsh derby.

A bumper crowd of 10,900 watched the Men of Gwent claim their first win against Blues in the capital for 11 years thanks to a touchdown from Elliot Dee and a penalty try, while Tom Prydie also added 13 points from the boot.

The Dragons started the stronger and raced into a 17 point lead thanks to their superior forward play but the home side came back strong after the break but were unable to convert their second half pressure into enough points to rescue the win.

The Blues’ response came through Jarrad Hoeata and Tavis Knoyle tries, both converted by replacement fly half Gareth Anscombe, but their visitors withstood everything Blues threw at them late on to seal a famous win in front of the raucous support at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park.

The Dragons win meant they went unbeaten through the month of December and they will welcome Blues for the return festive Welsh derby fixture at Rodney Parade on New Year’s Day (2.05pm) with the visitors desperate for a result to put the smiles back on the faces of their loyal supporters.

Ospreys 17 – Scarlets 15

Ospreys maintained their position at the top of the Guinness PRO12 league table with a narrow win against West Wales rivals Scarlets at Liberty Stadium on Saturday.

In front of the biggest crowd at a Welsh derby for two years the Ospreys started the better team and scored two first half tries through Dan Lydiate, making his first start for the region, and Aisea Natoga, which helped them into a 17 – 9 half time lead.

But Scarlets came roaring back after the break and replacement fly half Steven Shingler, who came on for the injured Rhys Priestland, landed two penalties to set up a close finish in front of the vocal and passionate support in Swansea.

The 15,632 supporters that watched the game live witnessed a dramatic closing period with both sides pushing for the crucial score but in the end Ospreys managed to hang on for the home win the region and its supporters were craving.

The electric atmosphere at Liberty Stadium helped see the hosts home on this occasion but with the return fixture of this back-to-back festive derby at Parc Y Scarlets on Saturday (5.15pm) set for another bumper crowd Scarlets will be looking for revenge in front of their passionate home support.