The Ospreys U16s East faced a very strong Cardiff Blues North U16s side at Aberavon RFC last night.
In their penultimate game of their campaign, their head to head clash with regional rivals Ospreys West next week, the East faced opposition who were undefeated throughout this block of RAG matches going into this game.
In the opening exchanges, the Cardiff Blues North U16s pressurised the Ospreys by the forwards and backs interlinking well and pushing the ball wide, as most of the rugby in these early stages took place in the Ospreys’ half. However, the hosts’ defence held tight.
The young Ospreys looked to clear their line by kicking deep, their opposition looking to counter these efforts at every opportunity. Despite the Blues making breaks and threatening the Ospreys’ line, the hosts continued to stop them in their tracks
The Blues’ pressure remained relentless as they went through the phases and, despite play having barely left the Ospreys half as the break approached, the score remained at 0-0 which was a credit to the young Ospreys’ resilience as the visitors were dominant possession and territory.
The first try of the game eventually went to the visitors. A tremendous up and under by the Ben Burnell saw Sam Davies read an awkward bounce that beat the Ospreys defence and after breaking away over 40-metres, he raced over the line to dab down, his try successfully converted by Burnell to give the visitors the lead at the break.
HALF-TIME: OSPREYS U16S EAST 0 – 7 CARDIFF BLUES NORTH
From the restart, the Blues continued their pressure through dinks over the top.
A lineout catch and drive saw the visitors threaten the hosts’ line through a driving maul, an Ospreys’ infringement keeping them under pressure.
At a scrum the visitors pushed the ball wide and drove deeper towards the Ospreys’ line. However, an infringement in the ruck saw the hosts’ awarded a penalty which relieved the pressure they faced.
Whereas the Blues continued to tactically use their big men to gain ground through punching holes in midfield, the young Ospreys found it difficult to carry the ball and gain territory as the visitors’ defence held tight.
As the clock ran down errors on both sides saw the tempo of the game slowing down, most of the play taking place between the two 22’s.
However, from a lineout, a crash ball in midfield saw a powerful run by Blue’s captain Efan Daniel that saw him taken down just short of the Ospreys’ line. The ball came out of the side to Ty Lewis who picked up and crashed over the line from close range, Burnell with the extras, to push the visitors further in front.
From the restart, the Ospreys looked to fight back with 7-minutes left to play, as they set up camp in the Blues’ 22 and threatened their line. Through this pressure, the Blues conceded several penalties through multiple mistakes and received an official warning.
The Ospreys showed plenty of patience by going through the phases as they looked to find a path through the Blues’ defence. Unfortunately, they couldn’t make this effort count, failing to break-through across the whitewash and the score remained at 0-14 as the full-time whistle blew.
FULL-TIME: OSPREYS U16S EAST 0 – 14 CARDIFF BLUES NORTH U16S