The Eyasses beat the Newport Gwent Dragons on Wednesday evening to make it three wins from their opening three fixtures of the WRU Regional Age Grade Championship.
Following on from victories against the Scarlets and Blue’s Under 18’s sides, the Young Ospreys last night beat the Dragons at the Bridgend Ford Brewery Field, 13-10.
After being behind the whole game the Ospreys hard work and refusal to throw the towel in paid off and the win was secured by a late try from Joe Thomas.
The Dragons made the best start to the game, attacking the Ospreys defence from the second the whistle blew. They were rewarded just four minutes later when Lloyd Lewis dodged through several Ospreys players to score the first try of the game. The Dragons Connor Goode converted making the score 7-0 with five minutes played.
The Ospreys enjoyed a slightly better restart, going on the offensive for the first time and putting the Dragons under pressure. However it was the Dragons who got the next opportunity to put points on the board when the Eyasses were penalised. Fortunately for the Ospreys, Connor Goode sent the penalty kick wide.
A period of fast paced play followed with both teams testing the others defence. Rees Geely of the Ospreys made a threatening run but was bundled into touch before he could reach the try line.
After 16 minutes the Ospreys were given their first chance at three points when the Dragons were penalised for not rolling away but Luke Price also sent the kick wide of the posts. A second attempt came just a minute later when the Dragons were again penalised. This time Price put it right between the posts and made the score 7-3.
Two nice breaks from Luke Price and Luke Davies gave the home fans something to cheer in the last few minutes of the first quarter but handling errors saw the ball turned over to the Dragons.
The Eyasses then found themselves down to 14 men when prop Sam Martin was shown a yellow card.
Despite being a man down the Ospreys kept up the offensive when scrum half Niall Popham chipped the ball downfield and gave chase. A few more taps saw him near the line but the Dragons were the first to reach it. A final attack in the last few minutes of the first half again saw the home side almost reach the line but a knock on saw them fail to go into half time in the lead.
The Dragons started the second half as they had the first, challenging the hosts defence. Four minutes into the second half Connor Goode capitalised on the Dragons dominance with a successful penalty kick when the Ospreys were again penalised.
Despite the Eyasses best efforts, strong Dragons defence thwarted their attempts to get downfield. A successful penalty attempt by Luke Price however gave them some reward a few minutes later and brought them back within four points.
After an inspired break by Harrison Walsh, and knowing a penalty was coming, Price attempted a drop goal which went well wide of the mark. Unfortunately a falter in the run up meant Price also missed the penalty kick that followed.
With just a few minutes of the game remaining a mistake by the Dragons to secure their own line out gave the opportunity for a final attack by the Eyasses. Joe Thomas, sandwiched between 2 Dragons, chased a chip down the field and managed to dive on the ball to ground it under the posts, putting the Ospreys in the lead for the first time. Luke Prices conversion made it 13-10 to the Ospreys.
The final passage of play saw the visitors with an opportunity to end the game with a draw when the Ospreys were again penalised. Dragons scrum half Owen Davies, taking over kicking duties after Goode had been replaced, however missed the penalty kick leaving the Ospreys victorious.
Eyasses Backs Coach, Kevin James, said after the game:
“For me coaching is a new experience and if we do that every week I’ll be getting grey hair like Shaun Connor!
“We have to commend the Dragons, they were fantastic with their execution while we were a bit off it. But we showed great resilience and kept knocking at the door, we finished strong and got the win, which is the most important thing. The Dragons threw a lot at us and were the dominant team for a large period of the game but we didn’t throw in the towel and the most positive thing from the game is that we kept going”.
“Obviously there are a few areas which were below the standard we set ourselves as we always aim high so we will be looking at them and working on them but the attitude and desire was definitely there for the boys. We just need to look at our game management and the execution of skills.
“We played too much in the wrong areas and sometimes not enough in the right area so it’s about realising where we are in the game and playing accordingly. Communication helps with that, we were a bit quiet tonight so we will be looking at that and have a few work ons to improve that area”
The Ospreys Under 18s now have a break but will return to WRU Regional Age-Grade Championship action in November, starting with the return match against the Dragons.