The Ospreys West U16s looked to secure their first win of the second block of their season as they travelled to Ystrad Mynach to take on the Dragons North U16 last night.
- Tries from Rhydian Lerwell, Olly Winchester and Dan Hiscoks kept the Eyasses in the game at a very cold and wet CCBC Sporting Of Excellence, Ystrad Mynach
- The young Ospreys defended extremely well, despite a yellow card for number 8 Dillon Caulfield, but the Dragons proved too strong.
Both sides were evenly matched upfront, not allowing the other the opportunity to score, but the young Dragons were the first side to crack on the 20-minute mark. From a lineout deep in the Dragons 22, a strong forward effort saw them drive over the line, Rhydian Lerwell crashing over in the corner for the first points of the game. Declan Thomas’ conversion was just wide but the young Ospreys were ahead 5-0.
However, in a game that was evenly matched, the Dragons hit back only two minutes later. With a penalty in the Ospreys half, the Dragons broke through the defence line, with Dylan Shorthouse powering through for his side’s first try of the game. Fly-half Jake Morgan was on target with his conversion, putting the Dragons ahead with just under 25 minutes played.
The home side had the momentum and they were quick to take advantage and build on their lead. Gaining good ground into the Ospreys half and quick interplay amongst the backs, the ball went out wide to wing Cian Jones, who raced over the line for the Dragons second try of the evening. Morgan slotted the conversion over to give the home side a nine point lead at the break.
Half Time Dragons U16’s South 14 - 5 Ospreys U16’s West
The young Ospreys wasted no time in putting down a marker at the start of the second half, working their way through the phases and a quick offload to Olly Winchester sent the wing flying over in the corner for try which, again, went unconverted.
It was a case of deja vu, with the Dragons quick to answer back once again. Another good attack from the hosts saw wing Jones go over the line for his second and the Dragons third of the night. Morgan’s conversion was just short but the Dragons led 19-10 with just over 40 minutes on the clock.
With conditions becoming wetter and colder, the Dragons pack used the wind behind them to their advantage. A strong drive from the pack eventually saw hooker Josh Toms slide over the line in the corner. The conversion was good, extending their lead 26-10.
Trailing by 16 points and 50 minutes on the clock, the Ospreys were dealt another blow. Number 8 Dillon Caulfield sinbinned for a high tackle, leaving the team down to 14 men for the next 10 minutes.
But the young Ospreys dug in deep and defended well, refusing to let the Dragons through their defence. Unable to put any points on the board during their one-man advantage, the Dragons began to tire and the Ospreys were quick to take advantage.
A quick tap and go from replacement scrum-half Dan Hiscoks saw him scoring under the posts. Thomas added the extras to narrow the gap to 26-17 but it was too late for the Ospreys to try and secure their fourth try with the referee blowing up for full time.
Speaking about his team’s effort head coach Dai Jones said: “As a coaching group we were always intending to make several changes for this game regardless of the outcome last week. As part of the development and talent Identification process we need to see players given a chance to perform. We looked to play at a fast pace with the ball in hand as it suited the strengths we have.
“There were some very good individual performances last night and for periods of the game we looked very dangerous. Coming back from 14-5 was a great effort, but we seemed to lose our way. We look forward to our next game and as usual we’ll expect 100 per cent effort from all involved.”
Next up for the Ospreys West U16’s is a visit from the Scarlets West U16’s on Wednesday 15th February at Llandarcy Academy Of Sport K.O 7:30pm.