Cardiff Blues U18s 8 - 13 Ospreys Under 18s

The Eyasses edged out the top of the table Blues side to win in a tight encounter in Cardiff last night

The Blues were quick to show why they are currently ridingtop of the league with a powerful attack from the starting whistle, a quick race up the wing had the young Ospreys under pressure but they demonstrated their improved defensive form as they cleared the ball and then weathered several more strong attacks from the home side.

The Eyasses struggled to get any possession for the first ten minutes, but when they did they built a strong attack and with some powerful runs found themselves  inside their opponents 22 with a scrum. Unfortunately their good intentions came to nothing as they were swiftly penalised not far from the posts.

With the first quarter coming to an end, the Eyasses had to soak up even more pressure as the home side's powerful pack again pushed their way toward the try line, but the Eyasses held strong and when the Blues were penalised for crossing it allowed the visitors a chance themselves. However several poor line outs and handling errors marred what looked like an opportunity for the Ospreys to get the first points on the board. Shortly after another opportunity came as they Eyasses were awarded the first chance at the posts, however Matthew Aubrey's kick sailed to the right.

It was with 30 minutes on the clock that the Eyasses launched their most serious attack of the first half, good teamwork saw them come within feet of the try line. The pack couldn't quite make the push over but when the home side were penalised for offside, Matthew Aubrey put the ball between the posts to get the scoring underway.

With just 90 seconds left to play in the first half the Eyasses were penalised for not releasing which allowed the Blues to get the momentum going with a driving, and with a quick pass they were over for the first try. With the conditions making the kicks hard the conversion was missed and the game  went into half time:

Blues Under 18's 5 - 3 Ospreys Under 18's

It wasn't a dream start for the visitors in the second half as they were penalised for offside early on, however with another kick going wide the Blues were unable to extend their lead. Things didn't improve for the Eyasses when hooker Jordan Liney was sent to the sin bin for bringing down a driving maul.

When the Eyasses were penalised in the scrum, the Blues placed their kick perfectly and took their line out 2 metres from the try line. The home side looked almost guaranteed to get try number two as the young Ospreys scrabbled back to try and defend. Despite being a man down the Eyasses effort was highly impressive as they held the ball up as it went over the line.

As the game entered into the last quarter the visiting side seemed invigorated and their solid defensive work turned into strong attacking play. Another fantastic run by Keelan Giles got the Eyasses into the danger zone before a pass wide allowed Phil Jones to score the Eyasses first try of the evening. The conditions again making kicking difficult and Matthew Aubrey was unable to convert.

After a lengthy break while the Blues scrum half received treatment, the Eyasses carried on their dominant play and were soon rewarded with a second try as James Davies raced over the line. Again no conversion could be added.

The Blues, keen to cement their top spot in the league, used the remaining few minutes to repeatedly pressure the Eyasses. A successful penalty brought the home side back within 5 points and they launched a huge attack in the final moments that looked exceptionally dangerous. Full credit must go to the young Ospreys who matched that huge attack with a huge defensive effort and held them out to win the game:

Blues Under 18's 8 - 13 Ospreys Under 18's


Steff James, Ospreys Under 18's Head Coach, commented on his boys performance:

"I'm absolutely delighted with the result this evening. To give the boys credit today they were superb. We had a few players drop out late in the day through illness and then had long stoppages and breaks in the game and to get over that and play a really good Blues side that shredded us 6, 7 weeks ago is really pleasing and it feels good. Over the course of the season the team has developed a real character and the development of individual players and as a group is paying dividends."

With the Eyasses now in second place in the competition, and just 4 points separating the top three teams, it all comes down to next Wednesday's fixture when the Eyasses will host the Dragons at Swansea RFC.