The Ospreys women kicked off their season in brilliant style at Ystrad Mynach on Sunday afternoon running in nine tries against the Dragons Women.
- A hat trick from Siwan Lillicrap and a brace from Mel Clay saw the Ospreys soar into the lead
- Solos from Robyn Lock, Carys Phillips, Keira Bevan and Ffion Bowen left the Dragons side struggling against the relentless attack from the Ospreys side.
- A consolation try for the Dragons were the only points on the board for the hosts, against a dominant performance from last seasons champions
After receiving a bye in the first round of the WRU Regional Women’s championships, the Ospreys women kicked off their season in round two against the Dragons Women at Ystrad Mynach.
Both sides struggled to gain the upper hand in the opening twenty minutes of the game. The Dragons pushed their way against the Ospreys defence but failed to turn their territory into points on the board. Likewise, the Ospreys found the penalty count stacking against them as they made any headway into the opposition’s half.
The penalty count eventually got the better of the Ospreys, with Gwen Crabb receiving a yellow card. But despite being a woman down, the Ospreys did well to steal the penalty from a Dragons scrum in the Ospreys 22 to take play out of their half.
Before the Dragons could take advantage of the extra woman, a yellow card for their hosts evened the playing field.
Looking to take control, the Ospreys with the ball in hand made a quick break from Alecs Donovan to power their way up field. Strong support from the pack saw the Ospreys win the penalty. A quick take from Siwan Lillicrap saw the number 8 break her way through the defence to open the score. The conversion a little wide, kept the scores at 0-5 with 25 minutes on the clock.
With momentum on their side, the Ospreys didn’t waste much time in building an attack in the Dragons half again. Dejavu for the Dragons saw them struggle to hold back the number 8, as Lillicrap broke free to score her second try of the game. Keira Bevan with the conversion took the Ospreys 0-12 ahead.
On the stroke of half time, the Ospreys punished the Dragons defence once again, and an overlap from the pack saw Robyn Lock run out wide for the Ospreys third try of the game. No conversion left the scores 0-17.
Half time – Dragons Women 0 – 17 Ospreys Women
Running out for the second half, the Ospreys Women wasted no time in stamping their dominance back on the game. A quick break on the wing from Emma Hennessy took play into the Dragons half, strong support from the pack edged the side deeper into the 22 before a knock-on halted play. But the referee awarded a penalty to the Ospreys after a high tackle from the Dragons.
Kicking for a lineout in a good position, the Ospreys won the ball and a forceful driving maul from the forwards left Carys Phillips clear to score the bonus point try. Bevan with the conversion took the Ospreys 0-24 ahead.
Moments later, the Ospreys found themselves back in the Dragons half punishing their hosts defence. Shrugging off two defenders in the process, Siwan Lillicrap blitzed her way over the whitewash for the hat trick! Bevan kicking the extras to extend the Ospreys lead 0-31 with just under 50 minutes played.
Keeping their momentum going, the Ospreys kept play in the Dragons half, denying their hosts any headway or possession. Building up another attack, the Ospreys looked for their sixth try before an interception from the Dragons Sarah Harper inside her own 22 left the Ospreys racing to stop the flanker. Mel Clay did extremely well to catch her and as she edged agonisingly close to the whitewash, a crucial tackle from Clay knocked the ball over the line.
Not wanting to come away empty handed, the Dragons did well to keep hold of the ball, and a three man overlap out wide saw Carys Cox ground the Dragons first points of the game. No conversion put the scores at 5-31.
But the Ospreys answered back almost immediately. After another superb break from Donovan, quick pace from the backs left the Dragons struggling to hold them back. An offload out wide to Bevan saw the scrum-half pull off some fancy footwork to side step her opposition, before running clear of the try line. No conversion put the scores at 5-36.
Firmly in control of the game, the Ospreys denied the Dragons even an inch out of their own half as the game entered its final quarter. Dominating the possession, the Ospreys powered their way through the Dragons defence once again, and a clean break from Mel Clay saw the side ground their seventh try of the game. Bevan having no difficulty with the conversion took the scores to 5-43 with 10 minutes left on the clock.
From the restart, the Ospreys made sure the Dragons time in the Ospreys half was short and sweet. With Siwan Lillicrap making the break to take play back into the Dragons half. Offloading to Robyn Lock, quick work from the forward pairing left the flanker pop the ball back up to Lillicrap who made further headway up field. A quick passage of play saw Mel Clay crash over the line for the Ospreys eighth try of the game. No conversion put the score at 5-48.
Keen to have the final say in the game and reach the fifty-point mark, the Ospreys conjured up one last attack in the Dragons 22. Solid work from the pack saw Ffion Bowen break through the defence for the try. No conversion left the final score at 5-53.
Next up for the Osprey Women is the Scarlets Women at St Helen’s next Sunday, K.O 12:30pm.