The Ospreys Development Team were in Celtic Cup action on Friday evening, when they welcomed defending champions, Leinster A to St Helen’s.
Looking to build on their 29-5 victory over Cardiff Blues A last week, the Ospreys Development Team faced tough opposition when they welcomed Leinster A to the home of the Whites on Friday night.
First out of the blocks, the Ospreys made quick work of an attack and secured themselves a penalty inside Leinster’s half. Josh Thomas lined up the shot, but the kick blew just wide to keep the scores 0-0 after five minutes.
Leinster tried to battle their way back up field, but a solid defence from the Ospreys secured the hosts the penalty to clear back up field. Despite an overthrow at the lineout handing the ball back to Leinster, Ospreys did well to apply the pressure, and a loose pass was nicely picked up by the Ospreys pack to deny Leinster the attack in the 22.
Clearing up field, Leinster caught a high ball to run it back. An infringement at the ruck resulted in Morgan Morris being awarded a yellow card to reduce the Ospreys to 14. But Leinster struggled to gain advantage with Will Jones leading the defensive effort for the Ospreys to turn the ball over.
The visitors kept knocking on the Ospreys door, but the defence held firm to deny Leinster the chance to go for the line.
Eventually, after setting up camp in the Ospreys 22, Leinster were awarded a try for their efforts with Ronan Watters breaking through to score. Rob Russell converting took the visitors 7-0 ahead.
With Morris back on the field, the Ospreys looked to claim back the territory, but as they did a penalty against Rhys Davies sent the lock to the bin to put the Ospreys back down to 14.
Wasting no time in taking advantage, Leinster ran riot with Liam Turner running over the whitewash for the second try. Russell converting to go 14-0 ahead.
But the Ospreys kept digging in deep to puncture the blue defence when asked. A huge driving maul in Leinster’s 22 looked to be the making of the Ospreys first try only for the ball to be turned over and cleared by Irish hands to take Ospreys out of the 22.
Running back up field, Turner reaped the rewards for the Leinster attack with a try out wide to extend their lead. Russell slotting the extras kept the scoreboard ticking over 21-0 in favour to the Irish side.
There was time for one more try before half time, with Ronan Watters conjuring an attack out wide to cross the line for the second time. No conversion left the scores 0-26 at the break.
HALF TIME – OSPREYS DEVELOPMENT TEAM 0 – 26 LEINSTER A
Coming out for the second half, the Ospreys looked to salvage back the game. Quick work from the backs saw play run into Leinster’s 22, and fast work out wide sent Tom Williams over the line for the try.
But their momentum was short lived, after an injury to Rhys Forse the replacement prop, forced the Ospreys to opt for passive scrums. Leinster utilizing this, took advantage of the space to run in two fast tries with the conversions to go 40-5 ahead just shy of the hour mark.
Despite the score deficit, the young Ospreys continued to fight back! A blitzing run out wide from Ben Cambriani saw play charge into Leinster’s 22 from his own. The young wing did well to keep hold of the ball and with the cavalry in support, the Ospreys built up the phases to edge closer to the line.
With penalties stacking in their favour, the Ospreys worked the ball well and Joshua Moore crashed over to take the hosts into double figures. Thomas converting to take the scores to 12-40.
But dejavu struck for the Ospreys, with Leinster answering back again with a converted try from Adam La Grue to extend their lead 47-12. Minutes later another solid attack from the visitors saw them run in try number eight, with the conversion taking them 54-12 ahead.
However, the young Ospreys showed great character to keep plugging away at their opponents. An epic break from Phil Jones saw the fullback side-step his way into Leinster’s half. Spying Cambriani on his right wing, a cross field kick almost reached him, before an unfortunate bounce sent the ball into touch agonisingly close to the tryline.
Not wanting to come away empty handed in the 22, the young Ospreys applied the pressure and took advantage of a loose pass from Leinster. Keiran Williams with the pick up to ground over the line! Thomas with the conversion to put 19-54 on the board.
Looking to go again, the Ospreys charged their way back into Leinster’s 22 from the restart, and a stunning effort from the backs saw George Gasson cross the line for the final score of the game for the young Ospreys.