The Young Ospreys under 16's went into their fixture yesterday (Wednesday) evening confident that they could overcome a Blues South team (that they beat convincingly in November), in order to qualify for the Reebok Final
However, in the end they needed the Dragons to come to their aid with 17 points all draw with the Scarlets. With the Blues North unbeaten and run away leaders of the group, the Scarlets needed to win both their remaining fixtures with bonus points in order to qualify as the second placed team. So the draw with the the Dragons scuppered their attempt at qualification; this was good fortune for the Young Ospreys as they could only manage a bonus point in going down 11 points to 10 against a much improved South team. Playing with a stiff breeze behind them in the first half the Young Ospreys set themselves a difficult task by going in at the break 11 points to 3 behind. The players will realise in the wake of that first half performance that the pressure of the game got to some of them; forcing play from within their own half rather than playing a kicking game led to an interception try for the South; opting to take quick tap penalties and spurning the opportunity to kick two easy penalty goals, could have come back to haunt them if the Dragons hadn't come to their rescue. Despite that first half performance the team showed great character in the second half in which they scored a try by replacement second row Morgan Evans (pictured) which outside half Chris Banfield converted to add to his first half penalty. They also played more intelligent rugby and kept possession of the ball against a defiant South defence while also kicking more efectively. To stop the South from scoring a point in the second half also demonstrated the steel that has developed inside the group; a steel which is strong enough to get them a result against the North in the Final at Rodney Parade, Newport, on Tuesday February 27th.