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Ospreys 19 – 32 Bath Rugby

Full report from tonight's Anglo Welsh Cup tie at the Liberty Stadium.

  • Double Cross tries for Dewi and Sam in the first half, along with Hook’s effort after the break meant the Ospreys led going into the final 10 minutes.
  • Two penalty tries in the final 10 minutes allowed Bath to win the game and secure a home semi-final
  • Dewi Cross scored on his first senior start while Joe Gatt made his debut from the bench.

A young Ospreys team opened confidently as a promising double Cross try opener saw the hosts take an early lead.

The first went to winger Dewi Cross, the second for his namesake, Sam, his second in just three games for the region.

As Bath grew into the game, snatching the lead just after half an hour, the Ospreys were still in the game just one point adrift at half time, the boot of Wales born Bath flyhalf Josh Lewis keeping the scoreboard ticking over. 

Matt Banahan’s try extended the Bath lead just after the break before the Ospreys hit back through James Hook, Luke Price’s conversion giving his side the slenderest of leads inside the final 15 minutes.

However, a strong Bath bench ultimately proved the difference as they overpowered their opponents in the final 10, referee Steve Lee awarding two penalty tries at the scrum to enable Bath to claim the win.

An early indication of how the Ospreys were approaching the contest came when Bath’s Banahan was penalised for not rolling away in a kickable position in the Bath half and the hosts went for touch.

The first visit to the 22 was promising for the young Ospreys, a strong driving maul coming up just short of the try line.

Shortly after, another strong driving maul had the Ospreys going forward and when referee Lee called advantage, giving a free play, Price chipped over the top for Dewi Cross to run in a try on his first start, captain Price added the extras.

Ospreys were penalised for not rolling away, Bath took the kick at goal from out wide and Lewis got his team’s first three points.

Lloyd Ashley was then penalised at the ruck to hand a simple three points to Lewis who brought the score to 7 – 6.

Almost immediately at the other end Sam Cross broke away from the back of a strong Ospreys maul on the Bath five metre line to scores a try, and although Price missed his conversion the Ospreys led by six points.

As Bath came more into the game, Lewis missed with a penalty after another offence at the ruck, but the visitors then struck shortly before half-time.

It was a quick tap and go penalty that eventually opened a gap, breaiking resolute Ospreys defence, as Bath lock Levi Douglas went over. A successful conversion by Lewis gave Bath a one-point lead at the break.

HALF TIME: OSPREYS 12 – 13 BATH RUGBY

Bath struck first in the second half, Banahan finishing off a spell of prolonged pressure. Lewis’s kick sliced wide right of the target

Looking to hit back, a good run from Dafydd Howells saw him charge down the left wing but a knock on gave a scrum to Bath.

Then, as the Ospreys looked to attack from halfway, a potential Bath incept try was called back for a home penalty. 

The home team then enjoyed a long period of possession deep in Bath territory, playing through the phases and everyone having a touch of the ball. The referee awarded a series of penalties against Bath, issuing a final team warning.

The breakthrough eventually came as James Hook went over out wide, Price converting to give his team a 19-18 lead just shy of 15 minutes before the end of the game.

With Bath emptying the bench, the greater experience and physicality began to tell and, after five minutes was spent resetting a Bath scrum on the Ospreys line, a series of penalties going against the defending side, the ref eventually called a penalty try and Bath led by six.

Bath kept pressing, a second penalty try awarded Bath pressure at the scrum and with three minutes remaining the score was now 19-32.

Ospreys had one last blast at the try line, Joe Gatt looking good with his first touch of the ball in an Ospreys shirt, Price finding a gap, and it looked like Will Jones got over the whitewash but the ref called knock-on, allowing Bath to complete the formalities at their scrum before putting the ball out to end the game.

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