Benetton Treviso 18 Ospreys 34
The Ospreys moved up into the play off-places after a bonus point win in northern Italy on Saturday afternoon
Stadio Comunale di Monigo has proven to be a difficult place for visiting teams to go during Treviso’s first ever Magners League season with the Italians claiming some notable Magners League scalps there already, most notably perhaps the Scarlets on the opening day of the campaign, and leaders Munster last weekend.
However, an accomplished performance from the Ospreys saw them running in five tries on their way to an impressive victory, with the bonus point secured inside fifty minutes.
Winger Nikki Walker ran in his second hat-trick of the season, taking his Ospreys tally to an impressive 36 tries in 97 games, while at the other end of the scale, Ashley Beck scored only his second and veteran second row Ian Gough went over for his first touchdown ever in Ospreys colours in his 83rd appearance. Dan Biggar kicked 3 conversions and a penalty to wrap up the win, which made it five on the bounce for the men in black.
Despite going into the game minus 10 Welsh internationals and with seven other players on the injury list, the Ospreys began the match showing plenty of confidence and attacking intent. Biggar was unfortunate not to open the scoring inside the first ten minutes when his long-range penalty attempt came back off the upright.
However, his team did get the first points of the match just a couple of minutes later through the Scot Nikki Walker, who took good advantage of some good link work between Biggar and Richard Fussell to find a way over in the corner.
Biggar missed his second kick from the conversion, but a period of sustained Ospreys pressure eventually saw Gough providing the support for Biggar, recieving on the fly-halfs inside to go over for his memorable first Ospreys try, the conversion making it 12-0 with a quarter of the game gone.
It was all Ospreys, and it came as no surprise when they added a third try in the 28th minute, Beck showing good awareness to pounce on the ball behind Treviso’s try-line as the Italians made a hash of clearing their lines. Unfortunately for the Ospreys, Biggar again hit the upright with the conversion, before Treviso were allowed to find a way back into the competition, two straightforward penalties from Tobie Botes cutting the deficit to 11 points at the interval.
HALF-TIME: BENETTON TREVISO 6 OSPREYS 17
Having dominated the first 40, it was no surprise to see the Ospreys quickly take control again after the restart, and just seven minutes in they clinched the bonus point with Walker’s second try. Tommy Bowe, returning after a month out with a knee injury, did exceptionally well to win turnover ball, and with the Treviso defence out of position it was worked wide to Walker who slid over, Biggar making no mistake with a tricky kick to add the extras.
Just five minutes later Walker went over for this eighth try of the season following an excellent break by Rhys Webb. Biggar slotted over the conversion and then added a penalty moments later to hand the Ospreys a 34-6 lead and put the game beyond doubt.
The Ospreys then rung the changes, and as the game became more and more disjointed, it allowed a way back for Treviso who rallied well in the final quarter. Despite suffering a yellow card to Marco Fillupicci, the hosts ended the game on the offensive, with the impressive Botes scoring two late tries, the second a length of the field touchdown, which took Treviso‘s and his own personal tally for the game up to 18.
However, there was to be no miracle comeback, as the Ospreys secured a valuable five points that places them in the top four with two homes games to follow, against Connacht next Sunday and Glasgow the weekend after.