Benetton Treviso 27 Ospreys 32
The Ospreys continued their winning start to the season, victory in northern Italy making it three from three so far, but they had to endure a nailbiting end to the game after being reduced to 14 for the closing stages for the second weekend in succession.
Tries from Tom Smith and Tom Isaacs, along with 19 points from the boot of Dan Biggar had put the Ospreys in the driving seat, only for the young fly-half to be yellow carded in the dying minutes as Treviso pushed for a way back into the game, a late penalty from Kristian Phillips in the last minute making it safe.
After an impeccably observed minute’s silence in memory of the Cilebebyll mining tragedy, the Ospreys, wearing white armbands as a mark of respect, were soon trailing, Kris Burton successful with a fourth minute penalty.
In the sweltering Treviso heat the home side were dominant but the Ospreys were able to keep in touch with their opponents, Biggar exchanging penalties with Burton to leave it all square at six-all as the halfway mark of the first period approached.
However, Treviso were able to get the first try of the game on 23 minutes, centre Luca Morisi crossing for a score that went unconverted.
Biggar was able to keep his team in touching distance with his third penalty as half-time approached after Marco Filipucci has been sent to the bin, before Treviso rocked the Ospreys with a second try, through Benjamin Vermaak, converted by Burton.
Deservedly trailing, the Ospreys had time to strike back before the break though, Tom Isaacs marking his first RaboDirect PRO12 start for the region with his first ever try in Ospreys colours. It stemmed from good work by Rhys Webb to win turnover ball, before Andrew Bishop put in a good cross kick for the winger to score, Biggar’s conversion bringing his team back to within two points.
HALF-TIME: BENETTON TREVISO 18 OSPREYS 16
Having ended the first period on a high, the Ospreys came racing out of the blocks after the break, scoring their second try within just two minutes of the restart.
It was a score created by the forwards following good pressure at an attacking scrum, the Ospreys recycled well, showing good patience before Tom Smith did well to get over in the corner. Biggar again added the extras as his team went ahead for the first time.
It was a tight game, with the heat clearly getting to the Ospreys, but six more points from Biggar saw the Ospreys look to pull away from Treviso.
The Italians were not going to simply lay down though, and the boot of Willem de Waal kept brought the score back to 29-21 in the visitors favour as they pressed the Ospreys line.
With seven minutes to go, Biggar was yellow-carded, and Treviso piled the pressure on, two more De Waal kicks bringing them back to within two points, before replacement Phillips stepped up in the last minute to slot over his first ever penalty goal for the region to secure a hard earned five point win.