The Ospreys U18s Women clinched the last minute penalty to seal the victory in a thrilling contest at Sardis Road on Sunday afternoon.
- Tries from Taylor Briggs and a brace from Katie Carr gave the Ospreys the three tries despite Cardiff Blues scoring the four.
- Nerves of steel from the boot of Kelsey Powell proved the difference, and a penalty from the fly-half in the final two minutes gave the Ospreys the lead for the first time.
- The young side dug in deep, in defiance of a strong attack from the opposition, and held on for the narrow 20-22 win.
- The Ospreys sit top of the table on 9 points, 4 points clear after winning their opening two games of the tournament.
Looking to go two from two after last weekend’s 36-7 victory over the Dragons, the Ospreys U18s women travelled to the house of pain, Sardis Road, to take on the Cardiff Blues.
The young Ospreys got off to a shaky start against their opponents, with the Blues making quick work from a lineout to power their way into our 22. Taking advantage of space out wide, Beth Huntley broke loose for the opening try of the game for the Blues. No conversion left the scores at 5-0.
Looking to answer back, the Ospreys powered their way into the oppositions 22 as they searched for their first try. Powerful carries from Jaya White and Minnie Morgans gained the side the ground to come within metres of the whitewash before a knock on over the line handed it back to our hosts.
Taking it quickly, Cardiff Blues managed to race their way out of their own half and run the ball into our 22. With the Ospreys struggling to regroup, Beth Huntley spied the break once again to go over for the brace. The conversion blowing wide put the hosts 10-0 ahead.
But this time, the Ospreys were quick to answer back. Another powerful drive from the squad saw the pack reach the 22 once again. Not wanting to come away empty-handed this time, a huge forwards effort saw Katie Carr ground the opening try of the game! No conversion kept the scores at 10-5.
In the next few stages of play, the Ospreys enjoyed the territory, but the Cardiff Blues defence held firm. Securing the turnover, it was dejavu for the Ospreys, as the side struggled to regroup leaving the Blues to take advantage and race up field for their third try of the game. No conversion, but the Blues extended their lead 15-5 with 10 minutes left of the first half.
Forcing their way back into the game, the Ospreys made a good break from number 8 Jaya White and good support from the pack sent Katie Carr over for the brace! Kelsey Powell with the conversion narrowed the scores 15-12.
But the Blues looked to have the last say of the first half, taking it quickly once more to race over for their bonus point try of the game! No conversion put the scores at 20-12 at the half-time mark.
Half time - Cardiff Blues U18s Women - 20 - 12 Ospreys U18s Women
Running out for the second half, both sides were joined by a heavy rain shower making it difficult for either side to gain the upper hand. With both struggling to keep hold of the ball, the penalty count stacked up against the Blues, leaving the referee no option but to award a yellow card to the hosts.
Taking advantage of the extra woman, Taylor Briggs crashed her way over the line for the try in line with the posts. Powell adding the extras brought the score to within a point at 20-19.
As the game entered its final five minutes, the Ospreys looked for the attack inside their opponents half. With a scrum in their favour, a huge effort from the pack gave Jaya White the pickup and pace to race clear to break into the Blues 22. But as the squad edged agonisingly close to the line, a knock-on handed it back to our opponents.
Not wanting to come away from a good position empty-handed, the young side held their own in the scrum and kept their opponents at bay leaving them no headway out of their own 22. Securing the turnover, the Ospreys looked to go again, and left the Blues scrambling their defences.
With the referee awarding a penalty to the Ospreys in line with the posts, a confident Ospreys side looked to take it quickly instead of opting for the points. Building a dominant attack, the young side came within inches of the line, but an infringement from a Blues player halted them in their tracks! But their efforts were rewarded, with a yellow card for the Blues and a penalty.
Kelsey Powell held her nerve well, to boot the three points and take the lead for the Ospreys for the first time as the game entered its final minute!
The Blues were relentless from the restart and fought hard to take back their lead. Quick pace out wide saw Nia Grundy make the ground to bring our opponents into our 22. But the Ospreys dug in deep to hold them back and away from the line. Putting the pressure on their hosts, Grundy looked for the ball out wide again before a game saving tackle sent the wing into touch for the full time whistle!
Next up for the young side is RGC U18s Women next Sunday (24th February) at Ysgol Maes y Gwendraeth, K.O 2:30pm.