The Amateur Ospreys went down to a narrow home defeat to the Amateur Dragons at Corus last night. The Ospreys kicked off with the strong wind at their backs and were immediately seven points in arrears, as The Dragons having kicked the back to the half w
The Amateur Ospreys went down to a narrow home defeat to the Amateur Dragons at Corus last night. The Ospreys kicked off with the strong wind at their backs and were immediately seven points in arrears, as The Dragons having kicked the back to the half way line for David James (Blackwood) to pick up and feed Rob Smith (Blackwood) who ran in from 20m for a try converted by Jamie Howells(Bargoed). Within five minutes The Ospreys had hit back after driving a line out to within three metres of the line, quick second phase ball was moved left for Gareth Kingman (Glyncorrwg) to cross in the corner, Nathan Healy(Nantyfyllon) was wide with the conversion. The Dragons almost increased their lead when having taken a scrum against the head on the 10 metre line Jamie Howells Bargoed was tackled into touch metres from the Osprey’s line. With The Ospreys defending their line but unable clear downfield, The Dragons broke from a driving maul following a line out on the 5 metre mark and Lee Edwards Tredegar dived over for the try. As the Dragons attacked midway through the half, Ospreys wing Andrew Penhale (Trebanos) was unable to hold an interception on the 22-metre line and the Dragons held on to their attacking position. With 25 minutes gone they increased their lead when having kicked a penalty to the corner, another line out take was driven over the home line for Lee Edwards (Tredegar) to touch down. Jamie Howells was just short with the conversion into the wind and the score remained at 5 – 17 in the Dragons’ favour. Three minutes later The Ospreys reduced the deficit after running back a clearance kick from half way. Quick phase ball was won on three occasions and slick passing put No.8 and captain Stuart Burrows(Penclawdd) over on the right, Healy converted from wide out. Five minutes later, the Ospreys lost the injured Burrows who was replaced by Ryan Turner (Nantfyllon) and within minutes Outside half Healey was also injured and had to be replaced. Peter Smiriglia (Loughor) moved to No. 10 from the centre, and Flanker Gareth Morgan (Neath Athletic moved to cover the centre position (Morgan’s position being taken by replacement Flanker Habir Singh (Vardre). Continued Ospreys pressure led to a succession of penalties as the Dragons infringed whilst to slow down the ball and The Ospreys looked to run at every opportunity. The pressure was rewarded with the last move of the half when hooker Stephen George (Seven Sisters) took a clever inside pass to touch down and Smiriglia added the conversion for the Ospreys to lead 19 – 17 at the break.
The second half was a much tighter affair with early pressure from the heavier Dragons’ pack pinning the Ospreys in their 22, although the home defence was equal to the task. The first scoring opportunity of the half came with a speculative long rang drop at goal by Nathan Gittins (Fleur De Lys) which was well wide of the target. Following a number of warnings for Dragon’s players coming in from the side of rucks, a Dragons forward picked up a yellow card, but the Ospreys were unable to exploit their numerical advantage and it was the Dragons who got what was to prove the decisive score when following a neat kick through, David James (Blackwood) picked up and passed inside to Jamie Howells( Bargoed) who was unable to convert his own try. The Ospreys lost a further player to a shoulder injury with Jonathan Rees (Cwmgors) being replaced by Alan Gant (Corus RFC). The wind continued to have a big influence, with play largely in the Osprey’s half and the Dragon’s weight advantage causing problems for the Ospreys at the scrums. With time running out, The Ospreys continued running from deep into the wind but were unable to establish a scoring platform in the visitors half and the match ended with the score 19 – 22 to The Dragons.