The Eyasses got their season back on track last night with a bonus point victory over the Dragons
After a couple of tough weeks for the Ospreys age gradeteam, they got their season back on track with a comprehensive victory over the Dragon's under 18's in Ystrad Mynach last night.
Handling errors and missed tackles stopped the young Ospreys getting off to the perfect start and the Dragons took advantage with some good work to keep them in control of the ball and game. It was 10 minutes before the Eyasses got their first chance to attack, but once they got going they looked almost unstoppable. Stuart Nicholas broke into the Dragons half before the ball was carried on by Captain Ben Davies. Shortly after Rueben Morgan Williams slammed the ball against the posts to score the first points of the game. Phil Jones and his impeccable boot adding the conversion.
Less than a minute later the Eyasses were over for their second try. The Dragons' restart was picked up by the visitors and Keelan Giles showed his exceptional pace running half of the length of the pitch untouched. Kieran Williams carried on the powerful charge before Charlie Davies crashed over the line. Again Phil Jones was successful with the conversion.
In a busy period, just two minutes later, the Dragons got their first points of the evening with a successful penalty kick after the young Ospreys were penalised from the restart. The Eyasses were straight back on the offensive though, but their great team work and clever play being matched by some huge tackles by the Dragons.
When the Dragons were on the attack, the Eyasses put them under pressure to force them into errors. As the home team launched another strong attack at the Ospreys Under 18's, Llyr Davies made a fantastic interception and ran from beyond the 22 to score the third try of the night before Phil Jones converted.
Three charge downs by the Dragons in quick succession as the visitors tried to clear the ball gave the Eyasses something to worry about but the Dragons couldn't make it count. Knock ons spoilt a lot of opportunities for both teams as the first half drew to a close and after 35 minutes the score was:
Dragons Under 18's 3 - 21 Ospreys Under 18's
The Dragons got off to a strong start in the second half, their runs were powerful and the Eyasses were bouncing off them in the tackles. After Jacob Blackmore was shown a yellow card with just a few minutes played, a gap opened up for them to cross the try line. However the referee swiftly called them back for crossing and no try was awarded.
Instead, despite being a man down, it was the Eyasses that got on the scoreboard again with six minutes on the clock. Phil Davies managed to chip the ball twice down the field to get the age grade side the bonus point try before converting his own efforts.
There was some scrappy play from both sides as the young Ospreys weathered their one man deficit but seven minutes later another superb run from Keelan Giles earned them their fifth and final try of the evening. Phil Davies rounding their scoring off with another conversion.
The home side were certainly not ready to give up and they really put the pressure on the Eyasses in the final quarter. A try saving tackle by replacement Tom Howell held out one attack but soon after they found the gap they needed to get their first try of the evening. With the ball sailing straight past the front of the posts, there was no conversion.
There was more good work from both teams but the Eyasses couldn't make their later interceptions count and despite another yellow card for the Ospreys Under 18's, the Dragons couldn't take advantage and the game finished:
Dragons Under 18's 8 - 35 Ospreys Under 18's
Steffan James, Eyasses Head Coach, remarked on his team's victory:
"I'm much happier with this week's performance. Obviously the score is great but after the last two matches we said let's focus on the processes that get us the result rather than the result itself and take the pressure off the boys. We thought if we improved in that the result would come naturally and it did.
"We improved in a lot of areas, the attitude was spot on and I can't fault the boys. In the main we improved in a few key areas, the boys trained really well despite the disappointment of the last few weeks and I think that's borne fruit. We're not going to get carried away before RGC but we'll see if we can replicate the performance and hopefully the result will come.
We've picked up a few injuries, our starting and replacement loosehead both suffered injuries so we could be a bit bare in that position but it's something we will look at and assess in the coming days."