The Ospreys Development Team concluded their Celtic Cup campaign at Ystrad Mynach on Saturday afternoon against their Welsh rivals Dragons A.
- The young Ospreys went in at the break just behind their opponents at 15-14 after tries from Kieran Wiliams and Reuben Morgan-Williams, with Josh Thomas adding the extras.
- The Dragons took advantage of penalties stacking up against the Ospreys to keep the scoreboard ticking over in their favour in the second half.
- But a courageous effort from the young Ospreys saw them come back fighting in a bid to claim back the lead with Kieran Williams going over for the brace.
- A yellow card against Dewi Lake in the closing stages looked to spell the end for the Ospreys, but a valiant attack from the young side saw them apply the pressure and see their hosts awarded a yellow to level the playing field.
- However, a try from Dewi Cross in the final two minutes looked to be in vain with Rio Dyer in the 80th minute crossing the line for the Dragons to sign off the game.
The hosts were first out of the blocks with a chip across field sending Dai Richards over the line for the opening score, but no conversion left the score at 5-0.
But the Ospreys answered back. A break in mid-field from Iwan Shenton, backed up with support from Reuben Morgan-Williams saw the Ospreys power their way into the Dragons half. Running the ball out wide, skipper Ifan Phillips made the break to gain the ground into the 22 with the cavalry arriving for the attack. With the phase count stacking up, Ospreys edged closer to the line, but a loose pass was swiftly picked up by Dragons and cleared back up field.
Probing their way back into their hosts 22, after a superb touch finder from Josh Thomas, the Ospreys turned on the pressure. An overthrow at the lineout from the Dragons found its way into the hands of Phillips who smashed his way over the gainline to catch the hosts off guard. Backed up by his centre, Kieran Williams collected the offload and charged his way into the posts for the Ospreys first try of the game. Thomas converting to take the young Ospreys ahead.
But the Dragons responded almost immediately. Securing a penalty in line with the posts, Robson nudged the hosts back ahead with the slender 8-7 lead.
However, the Ospreys ran it back straight away with a soaring break out wide from try-scorer Williams. A pass inside to his scrum-half saw Reuben Morgan-Williams free to breeze over the line for the Ospreys second try of the game. Thomas slotting the extras to take the Ospreys back ahead 14-8.
But just before the half-time mark, the Dragons ran the ball back with a scything run out wide with James McCarthy grounding. Robson adding the conversion snuck the hosts back ahead at the half time mark.
HALF TIME DRAGONS A 15 – 14 OSPREYS DEVELOPMENT TEAM
Running out for the second half, Ospreys were forced to be on the back foot which the Dragons were keen to exploit. Securing penalties inside the Ospreys half, Robson slotted two penalties to go 21-14 ahead.
With momentum with the hosts, the Ospreys did well on the defence, but their efforts were soon tested with a quick break from the hosts seeing them run in their converted try to go 28-14 ahead.
But the Ospreys kept their composure and conjured up the attack with huge breaks from Callum Carson and Phil Jones taking play into their opponents 22. The Ospreys pack drove over the line only to be deemed held up, but they made quick work of the scrum 5m out. Securing the ball and offloading to Williams who soared over for the brace. The conversion bouncing off the posts put the score at 28-19.
As the game entered its final five minutes, the Ospreys dug in deep in a bid to claw back the scoreboard. But their efforts were dealt a blow, with Dewi Lake sent to the sin bin for an infringement. Carwyn Penny slotting the penalty for to extend their lead 31-19.
But the Ospreys weren’t ready to let Dragons utilise the extra man to their advantage. A thunderous attack from the young side saw them charge into their hosts half. Carrying the ball well, the side punctured holes in the Dragons defence which resulted in a penalty and yellow card awarded to the hosts pack to pit 14 against 14.
With a penalty in the Dragons 22, the Ospreys looked to come away with points on the board with another forceful attack. But a turnover halted them in their tracks. Back in possession, the Dragons looked to run the ball out wide to clear up field, but pressure from the Ospreys kept them locked in their own 22, and a nicely timed interception from Dewi Cross, saw the wing run free over the line to narrow the score gap. 31-24 with less than a minute left on the clock.
Looking to go again, the Ospreys looked to close out the game on a high note, but the Dragons were ready to throw the spoils. A quick break from Rio Dyer saw the wing run over for the bonus point try to close out the game with no conversion.