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Ospreys 27-0 Pau

The Ospreys shrugged off Storm Callum to blow away their French opponents and get the Challenge Cup campaign off to a flying start.

  • James Hook opened the scores with an early try, asa dominant performance from the Ospreys sent Pau away pointless
  • George North scored his fifth try of the season, with Luke Morgan close behind him scoring his fourth
  • A late try from Harri Morgan, on his debut, sealed the bonus point try at the last play

Early pressure from the Ospreys was rewarded with the first try of the game just seven minutes in. A quick pick up at the back of the scrum from James King saw the number 8 burst his way through the defence and playing in his fullback James Hook, Sam Davies with the conversion.  

The Ospreys kept up the pressure, fly half Davies pulling the strings and George North prominent, without the scoreboard reflecting their control.

With the game moving into the second quarter, try number two almost came as  Scott Otten looked for the quick take from the lineout, but his foot was in touch to deny the Ospreys.

Ospreys were forced to make an early replacement, with Keelan Giles marking his return to play after a year out, replacing Sam Davies. A positional reshuffle saw James Hook move to fly-half and Giles take the 15 spot.  

Pau looked to gain the upper hand in an attack and as they tried to break through the Ospreys defence, the host were penalised for not releasing allowing Pau to kick to the corner for their first visit in the Ospreys 22. 

Pau’s lineout struggled to hold its own and was knocked straight back into touch and with the Ospreys back in possession, Giles marked his return to play with a little bit of side-stepping magic to take play back upfield. Supported  by the forwards, good work on the right wing saw Justin Tipuric and Olly Cracknell linking up with some good hands to almost create try number two for the Ospreys before a forward pass halted play.

Going back for an early advantage, James Hook slotted the penalty to extend the Ospreys lead to 10-0 just before the half-time whistle.

Half time - Ospreys 10 - 0 Pau

Running out for the second half, Pau were penalised early on, allowing the Ospreys to set up camp in opposition territory.

Securing a lineout in Pau’s half, a chip from Owen Watkin found the hands of Pau’s wing, who knocked on in the process.

A solid scrum from the Ospreys set George North up nicely for his fifth try of the season. Hook’s conversion extended the Ospreys lead to 17-0 with 47 minutes on the clock.

From the restart, North carried the ball well and was backed up by Nicky Smith who had just entered onto the field for his 100th appearance.

Great aggression from the Ospreys after a big tackle from Tipuric forced Pau 30m back into their 22 where they were eventually penalised, allowing Hook to kick for the corner, but they were unable to take advantage of their territory.

The French side looked to make the most of limited possession but knocked on in the process. An early engagement from the visitors at the scrum then saw Aled Davies take it quickly to break his way through Pau’s defence.

Quick interplay from the backs, and a moment of individual brilliance from Luke Morgan out wide saw the wing ground the third try for the Ospreys, his fourth try of the season. No conversion kept the scores 22-0.

There was a moment of history when Harri Morgan made his Ospreys debut, the 18-year old scrum half,  becoming the first person to play for the Ospreys born in the 21st century.

In the hunt for the bonus point try, Ospreys powered their way back into Pau’s 22. A break from man of the match Hook almost looked the making of a try with a three on one overlap. But the fly-half struggled to get the ball away early and was caught to stop the Ospreys in their tracks.

Still in a good attacking position and with two minutes left on the clock, Giles kicked ahead into space, looking for the chase with Harri Morgan alongside him. As both youngsters charged the ball it was Morgan who reached the line first and grounded to mark his debut with the try, which went unconverted, as the Ospreys secured the bonus-point victory over Pau. 

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