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Ospreys 9 Leinster 9

A late penalty from Jimmy Gopperth denied the Ospreys a hard earned win at the Liberty Stadium on Friday night, but they remain unbeaten at home in the PRO12 since last February.

Two penalties and a drop goal from Sam Davies had seen the Ospreys come from 6-0 to lead going into the dying minutes, only to see Gopperth equal his tally of nine points to ensure a share of the spoils for the visitors. 

The Ospreys almost made the perfect start, Scott Otten punching a hole in the Leinster midfield to help create a two man overlap on the right inside 45 seconds, but with a try there for taking, a long mis-pass failed to find an Ospreys player, bouncing into touch 20m out.

It was the visitors who did eventually get the scoreboard moving, after almost a quarter of an hour arm wrestling between the two sides, Gopperth with a simple three points after Ospreys skipper Tyler Ardron had been penalised for interfering with Tom Denton in the air at a Leinster lineout.

Gopperth then doubled the lead in the 23rd minute, Dan Baker playing the ball on the floor after Leinster had looked to make the most of a turnover on halfway.

It was proving to be a frustrating opening half for all concerned, the referee’s whistle punctuating the action far too often for anybody’s liking. As the clock ticked past the half hour mark the Ospreys were starting to enjoy more possession and territory without ever looking like hurting the opposition as all too often the 50/50 calls were going Leinster’s way.

The final play of the half saw the Ospreys finally getting their side of the scoreboard moving, Davies slotting over a penalty after a Leinster offside following a prolonged spell of pressure inside their 22.

HALF-TIME: OSPREYS 3 LEINSTER 6

To their credit, the Ospreys started the second half as they’d ended the first, and were level within three minutes of the restart, Davies slotting over a drop goal after the forwards had taken his team close to the Leinster line.

The Ospreys were starting to gain the upper hand and, after a sidestepping run from Tom Grabham coming infield off his wing, a penalty for a high tackle in front of the posts allowed Davies to put his team in front for the first time on the night with 55 minutes gone.

Leinster came straight back at the Ospreys looking for an immediate response, pounding on the line for an incredible 17 phases before the home defence were able to force a knock-on on their line, James King with the hit, to win the scrum five metres out from where they were eventually able to clear their lines.

With Davies sidelined after taking a knock to the head Josh Matavesi moved up to 10 for the final 15 minutes, the Fijian charged with steering his team home to victory.

Just as it looked as though the Ospreys were going to hold on for a famous win, Leinster made one last effort, and were rewarded for their intent with a penalty within kicking distance 90 seconds from the end, Morgan Allen not releasing.

Up stepped Gopperth to send it straight through the posts, leveling it at nine points apiece, and although the Ospreys felt that they deserved a penalty at the final scrum of the game with the clock turned red, that was that and the teams had to share the points.

 

 

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BT Murrayfield Stadium, Edinburgh

September 14th - 3:00PM

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