The Ospreys Development team looked to bounce back after their defeat to the defending Celtic Cup champions, Leinster A last Friday night.
Running out at Malone RFC, the Ospreys made a solid start to the game. Early pressure from the pack kept Ulster at bay, leaving the hosts struggling to make any headway out of their half. Securing the penalty for holding on, the Ospreys had the put in at the scrum, but their attack was short lived after a pass out wide was sent straight into touch.
With the hosts back in possession, a penalty against the Ospreys for holding on allowed Ulster to clear up field for the lineout in our 22. Conjuring up an attack, Ulster tried to gain the ground but couldn’t break through the Ospreys defence. Finding no way through, a crucial turnover from Morgan Morris secured the ball back into Ospreys hands allowing Josh Thomas to clear.
A missed kick to touch was quickly taken by Ulster, to deny the Ospreys the attacking lineout in their opponents half.
But the Ospreys continued to apply the pressure on their hosts, and a knock on in attack from Ulster ensured the Ospreys took back hold of possession.
Back in attack, the Ospreys looked to run the ball into Ulster’s 22. Working the ball out wide to Ben Cambriani, the wing had no option but to chip the ball over the Ulster backline to edge the side forward. With the ball running into touch, Ulster had the lineout deep in their 22.
Solid pressure from the Ospreys forced Ulster to clear to touch off the back of the lineout to keep the Ospreys in a strong attacking position. With the Ospreys looking to go again, their chances were halted after a high tackle from Adam McBurney saw the Ulster hooker sent off with a yellow card.
Looking to take advantage of the extra man, Ospreys won the penalty in line with the posts allowing Thomas to slot the three points to take the lead.
The hosts answered back almost immediately with a blitzing attack into our 22. But despite their solid efforts, the Ospreys brick wall defence held firm. But eventually a penalty against the Ospreys allowed the hosts to smash their way through for the opening try of the game. The conversion taking the hosts 7-3 ahead.
In a bid to go again, the hosts ploughed their way back into our half in the hunt for another score. But each phase was met with a solid tackle from the Ospreys pack who kept pushing them back and away from the line.
Ulster kept asking the questions, but Ospreys kept on answering. Just as Ulster looked for the whitewash, pressure from the visitors, secured the young Ospreys the turnover drawing an end to the first half.
HALF TIME ULSTER A 7 -3 OSPREYS DEVELOPMENT TEAM
Coming out for the second half, Ulster looked to gain the upper hand and secured the early penalty inside the Ospreys half. But the Ospreys kept on applying the pressure and defended a driving lineout 5 metres out to win the scrum. Guido Volpi with the pick up looked to make the break out of the 22 for the visitors before a knock on handed it back to Ulster. But just as Ulster looked to take advantage, a huge tackle from Rhys Davies won it back for the Ospreys to clear up field.
Still in a good attacking position, Ulster looked to go again. But as they did, their attack met Phil Jones who was deemed to have executed a dangerous tackle, reducing the Ospreys to 14 after a yellow card.
Taking advantage quickly, Ulster spied the break in the backline to crash over for try number two. The conversion extended their lead 14-3 with 20 minutes left on the clock.
Trying to get back into the game, the young Ospreys tried to gain the ground back in their opponents half. Callum Carson with the break in mid-field looked to be the making of a try, with Josh Thomas in support. But as the backs looked to get their names on the board, a knock-on handed it back to the hosts.
Still trying to salvage points for their efforts, the Ospreys turned the ball over and ran the ball out wide to George Gasson, who put his foot down to race back into his opponents half. With the cavalry in support, the Ospreys tried to gain the headway but a chip cross field went dead to hand the ball back to Ulster.
Racing back up field, Ulster made quick work of an attack to power over the line once again for their third try of the game. No conversion put the final score at 19-3.
The Ospreys Development Team will take on the Dragons A next weekend on Saturday 5th October to face the Dragons A, K.O 3pm.