The Ospreys left Italy empty handed after a disastrous evening in Treviso, failing to pick up even a losing bonus point as their play-off hopes took a blow at Stadio Comunale di Monigo.
- The Ospreys slip to third in the PRO12 after suffering a fifth championship defeat of the season
- Keelan Giles scored his team's only points of the night with his 13th try of the season, a tally bettered only by Tommy Bowe with 15 in 2009/10 and Rhys Webb, who scored 14 two years ago.
- The eight point deficit means the Ospreys failed to even secure a losing bonus point
It was 80 minutes of frustration, the Ospreys never managing to take control of the contest, Treviso having the upper hand from start to finish.
The one bright saw Keelan Giles crossing for his 13th try of the season, a tally which has only ever been exceeded by two players previously, Tommy Bowe with 15 in 2009/10 and Rhys Webb, who ran in 14 two seasons ago.
There was also a PRO12 debut for Jay Baker late on.
Early home pressure saw Dan Evans being charged down inside his 22 following a lovely little chip kick from back rower, Robert Barbieri. The ball was worked wide to the right where Ian McKinley thought he’d found a way through in the corner, only to be hauled down a metre short.
His attempted offload to Angelo Esposito went forward, allowing the Ospreys to clear from the resulting scrum.
As the Italians enjoyed the better of the early exchanges, a penalty against Brian Mujati, not rolling away, then gave Treviso a sight of the posts, a 40m kick from former Osprey, Tito Tebaldi, having the distance but just fading to the left at the last moment.
It was all Treviso and the next passage of play saw the home team patiently going through the phases, the forwards content to pick and drive as they worked their way towards the Ospreys line inch by inch, eventually finding themselves held up under the sticks.
Although an incredible carry from Dan Baker off the back of the resulting scrum took play right up to halfway, the Italians’ domination continued and there was a sense of inevitability about the opening score just shy of the 20- minute mark. Alberto Sgarbi twisted his way over from close range after the forwards patiently went through the phases with a series of pick and go’s in an identical fashion. Tebaldi slotted over the simplest of conversions and Treviso led 7-0.
The Ospreys were struggling to get any kind of foothold in the game and, one Giles break up the right aside, they were failing to get any meaningful possession, with the game being played almost exclusively inside their half.
They had to wait 30 minutes for their first visit into the opposition 22 but much huffing and puffing came to nothing as the penalty went to Treviso for not releasing, allowing McKinley to clear.
However, the first half ended positively as the Ospreys were finally able to build some pressure and, with a penalty advantage in their favour as the clock turned red, Sam Davies saw the overlap on the right, went through the smallest of gaps before offloading to Dan Evans who slipped it to Giles, leaving the winger with the simplest of finishes.
The conversion from Davies came back off the outside of the near post, which meant the Ospreys headed back to the changing rooms trailing by two.
HALF-TIME: BENETTON TREVISO 7 OSPREYS 5
The Ospreys would have wanted a positive start to the second half but, despite some bright moments, they were unable to create any real momentum following the restart.
There was a scare 52 minutes in as a Treviso maul trundled omninously forward, towards the Ospreys line, but the visiting pack were able to regroup and disrupt, eventually winning the scrum five metres out.
As the hour approached a scrum penalty against the Ospreys allowed Tebaldi another shot at goal, Tebaldi making no mistake as he stretched the lead to five points.
It was all very scrappy from the Ospreys, Treviso good value for their lead, but an incredible break from inside his own 22 by Giles got the significant traveling support excited as he raced 50m upfield, finding his way through a congested midfield.
He had replacement scrum half, Brendon Leonard, in support, but the All Black didn’t have the legs to get away from the cover from 30m out.
It seemed as though momentum was starting to swing the Ospreys way as they began to make some ground with ball in hand but they were left needing two scores following a long range penalty from Mckinley in the 72nd minute after Treviso’s maul had been illegally halted, meaning the hosts led by eight.
The Ospreys looked to step it up as they hunted for a way back but they were unable to create anything as Treviso held firm to ensure the Ospreys ended a game with nothing for the first time since losing to Leinster back in September.