It was a mixed day for the Eyasses on Sunday, the Ospreys U18s finishing their season on a high with a win against RGC, while the U16s East suffered a loss against RGC U16s.
An afternoon of perfect conditions for open rugby saw the Ospreys U16s East welcome RGC U16s to Ysgol Bae Baglan for the second match of the day as they took to the field following the Ospreys U18’s victory before-hand against RGC U18s.
From the kick-off the hosts applied pressure to RGC by going through the phases and punching holes in their defence to gain territory. Chipping the ball behind and attacking the open space saw the young Ospreys cross the gain line to set up camp in the visitors’ half.
An RGC infringement handed the Ospreys a penalty where they launched the ball to touch and this saw them travel deeper into RGC’s 22. From a lineout on the visitors’ 22, with slick hands and good movement, Iori Commerford-Davies looped around midfield to receive the ball from the centres feeding Rhys Cawley to take the ball across the whitewash in the corner for the first try of the game. Unfortunately, the conversion was pushed wide, but the hosts had the lead with six minutes on the clock.
An attempted chip and chase from the hosts saw it go straight into Ewan Denton’s hands who raced 20-metres to cross the line under the sticks, which was successfully converted by Carwyn Jones and took the visitors into a narrow two point with 20-minutes played.
RGC were now playing with confidence and controlling things but with half an hour on the clock, from a lineout on the 22, the Ospreys stretched the ball wide and through quick hands and looping supportive play by the backs they pressurised the visitors’ line. RGC’s defence remained intact and they were soon back on the attack and by going through the phases, they drove the Ospreys back into their own 22. Through pick and drives and offloading support pla, the visitors saw RGC’s captain Cai Herdman go under the sticks, Jones with the extras to take the score to 5-14 minutes before half-time.
HALF-TIME: OSPREYS U16S EAST 5 – 14 RGC U16S
From the restart, the young Ospreys looked to up the tempo and rid the errors of the first half but the opening exchanges of the second-half were dominated by penalties.
Approaching the 45th minute, the Ospreys looked to play with more continuity by holding onto the ball and going through the phases, but the RGC’s defence held tight.
The visitors fought back and from a resultant scrum on the Ospreys’ 22, the ball was played through the middle channel and the visitors looked to punch holes through the Ospreys’ defence who found themselves under pressure. As the penalty count added up for the Ospreys, they got an official warning.
RGC opted for a scrum which saw them take the ball wide to the narrow side which gave Jones the opportunity to crash over the whitewash in the corner for his second try of the game to extend the visitors’ lead of 5-19, 16-minutes into the second half.
A drop pass just inside the Ospreys’ half saw Denton hack the ball through and chase his own kick, his excellent offload to Siencyn Metcalfe saw him crash over the line in the corner, which went unconverted.
An infringement by RGC’s Osian Jones saw them reduced to 14 men with 61-minutes on the clock. The Ospreys now looked to capitalise on this advantage in the final stages of play as they set up camp in the visitors’ 22.
A quick tap penalty 5-metres out by the Ospreys saw Kyan Lloyd twist and turn out of tackles to force his way across the whitewash, successfully converted by Cawley, which closed the deficit with 5-minutes left to play.
FULL-TIME: OSPREYS U16S EAST 12 – 24 RGC U16S
The Ospreys U18s were also in action this afternoon, outscoring RGC five tries to three three, taking the honours with a 14-point win over their visitors.
From the off both teams contested fiercely, but it was RGC that crossed the whitewash first with only 9-minutes played as Sam Earl Jones got the scoreboard ticking. The young full-back then picked himself up to successfully convert.
This woke the Ospreys up and they were soon to respond. With 16-minutes on the clock, Callum Dodd crossed the line to get the young Ospreys off the mark for a score that went unconverted.
It was not long before the visitors extended their lead as in the next period of play RGC’s right winger Harri Hughes dabbed down for an unconverted try and took the scoreboard to 5-12.
On the stroke of half-time, the Ospreys’ efforts were soon rewarded as an excellent, but unconverted, try from right winger Lloyd Freeman drew the hosts closer to the visitors on the scoreboard and saw the Ospreys right on the heels of RGC as the score was set at 10-12 as the half-time whistle blew.
HALF-TIME: OSPREYS U18S 10 – 12 RGC U18S
The opening exchanges of the second half saw both teams working hard and digging in deep as the battle unfolded, but it was a half that was dominated by the Ospreys as despite capitalising on a penalty from the home team’s infringement, RGC were unable to threaten the hosts’ line and successfully score any tries.
With 49-minutes played, Ospreys’ Callum Dodd made it a double as he crashed over the line for the second time that afternoon, which went unconverted as the ball narrowly missed the up-rights, and the hosts led.
A few minutes later, the young Ospreys were penalised and RGC’s full-back Jones stepped up and slotted the ball through the posts to equalise the score and bring things level.
This ramped up the heat as it was certainly game on from here, making it an exciting end to the match.
The hosts benefited from ringing the changes and having fresh legs as they intensified their pressure on their opponents. The young Ospreys were quick to make their mark on the scoreboard as an excellent try from Joe Hawkins with 56-minutes on the clock pushed them out in front, successfully converted by Lloyd Wilkins.
There was still time for another Ospreys try as Luke Butler crossed the line in the 70th minute for their fifth and final try of the game, Wilkins with the extras, taking the score to 29-15 in the dying seconds.
FULL-TIME: OSPREYS U18S 29 – 15 RGC U18S