After travelling up to the Cardiff Arms Park for the developmental U16s/17s triangular tournament, the young Ospreys had a very successful day, securing two wins from two.
The tournament was an opportunity for the boys to once again show their potential, and indeed they did by delivering full-package performances, with wins firstly against the Cardiff Blues U16s/17s and then the WRU Exiles U16s/17s.
Cardiff Blues U16s/17s 0 – 20 Ospreys U16s/17s
During the opening exchanges, the Ospreys went through the phases and as a result, were gaining territory, but they found difficulty in breaking down the blue wall.
With six-minutes on the clock, both teams were unable to break through the gain-line and as a result, mistakes were made and both defences were on top as most of the rugby was played between both the teams’ 22s.
A Cardiff Blues’ infringement handed the Ospreys a penalty which saw Luca Caplin kick deep into touch, and saw them draw closer to the hosts line. A lineout 5-metres out followed, but the young Ospreys were unable to hit the jumper and the hosts’ relieved the pressure. This same scenario was repeated just two minutes later.
The visitors set up camp in the Blues’ 22, and were rewarded for their efforts in doing so. Using an expansive ball and going through the phases, the ball found its way to Josh Marshall who crashed over the line for the first try of the game, and put the Eyasses in the lead with just 10-minutes played.
With an increased confidence, this saw the Ospreys play with greater intensity. However, mistakes made in the key areas by the visitors allowed the home side to clear the lines.
Through good supporting play, the Eyasses closed in on the hosts’ line, and good hands and offloads from the young Ospreys, resulted in Jordan Evans hitting the hole at a great angle and crossed over the whitewash, taking the score to 0-10 minutes before half-time.
On a rare excursion to the Ospreys 22, the Cardiff Blues were awarded a lineout, but handling errors from the hosts handed the young Ospreys back possession and allowed them to clear their line.
HALF-TIME: CARDIFF BLUES U16S/17S 0 – 10 OSPREYS U16S/17S
As the boys re-entered onto the pitch, a number of changes had been made but it was not long before they settled into the rhythm of the game.
With less than two-minutes played of the second-half, a drop-pass mistake in midfield from the Cardiff Blues saw Evans pick up and use his speed to break away and race over the line, dabbing down under the sticks for his second try of the game, taking the score to 0-15.
The young Ospreys were now playing with increased vision and tempo as they looked to break down the blue wall. However, some big hits from the hosts made it increasingly difficult to do so.
As a result of the Eyasses dominating possession, the Cardiff Blues made a number of changes.
After sucking the Ospreys over to the blind side, this allowed space on the open side, which the Blues fullback exploited and allowed the hosts to enter into the Ospreys’ 22. The home team looked to go through the phases, only to find that the Ospreys’ defence held tight as they possessed excellent line speed.
The young Ospreys put in big hits in order to hold their opponents out. However, an Ospreys’ infringement at the maul saw the hosts gain a five-metre lineout but the rolling maul was not enough to drive over the line and the Ospreys held the ball up and were awarded a scrum-five which relieved this pressure.
In the last minute of play, the Blues’ mistakes saw them being forced to play a defensive game. The young Ospreys were awarded a five-metre lineout, which was well executed. The Eyasses then drove the ball towards their opponents’ line for Jack Goodridge to dab down, bringing the game to a close, handing the young Ospreys the victory.
FULL-TIME: CARDIFF BLUES U16S/17S 0 – 20 OSPREYS U16S/17S
WRU Exiles U16s/17s 5 – 30 Ospreys U16s/17s
In the final round of the U16s/17s developmental triangular tournament, the Ospreys faced the WRU Exiles in what promised to be an exciting match. The Ospreys looked to continue to improve on their fine performance against the Cardiff Blues U16s/17s in their first round.
As the boys entered onto the field, the Ospreys made a number of changes from their first round. The young Ospreys benefitted from the fresh legs as it was only a matter of minutes from the kick-off that they scored. From a pursuing lineout 5-metres out saw them catch and drive towards the Exiles’ line. From the driving maul, Jordan Evans crashed over for the first try of the game and put the visitors into an early lead.
The Ospreys were enjoying possession in these opening exchanges and it was not long before their second try arrived, as the Ospreys gathered themselves and looked to put the ball wide in the open channel where Logan Phillips crashed over the whitewash in the corner, and pushed the boys in black further ahead, with the scoreboard set at 0-10 with less than five-minutes played.
The tries were coming thick and fast for the young Ospreys as through some excellent pick up and goes, the ball was moved out wide and from the ruck, with good vision, Connor Howard sniped over the line for the third try of the game.
With 11-minutes on the clock, the fortune had changed hands as the Ospreys found themselves under pressure from their opponents and their defence was tested.
A quick tap and go in midfield saw the Ospreys defence stretched on the narrow side, which allowed the Exiles fullback to cross the line in the corner, and closed the deficit slightly to take the score to 5-15.
The game continued to exploit both side’s defences until the half-time whistle blew.
HALF-TIME: WRU EXILES U16S/17S 5 – 15 OSPREYS U6S/17S
The second-half got underway with a number of changes made on both sides once again. From the restart, the Exiles attacked the Ospreys defence by going through the phases and driving them back towards their line.
An Ospreys’ lineout 5-metres out, saw the Exiles endure the driving maul and hold the ball up to relieve the pressure. Once again on the opposite side of the field, the Ospreys were awarded another lineout 5-metres out and from the driving maul, Ioan Billingham crashed over the whitewash in the corner to extend the Eyasses’ lead: 5-20.
With increased tempo, the young Ospreys went through the phases and punched holes in the Exiles’ defence to drive them back into their 22. A bursting run in midfield by Phillips saw the ball put wide down the narrow channel for Lloyd Freeman to use his speed and to cross the whitewash, creating an increased distance on the scoreboard: 5-25.
During the minutes of last play, the Ospreys found themselves under pressure and were forced to play a defensive game, but they held tight.
Through good hands and vision, the young Ospreys drew in the opponent’s defence and put the ball wide. A chip and chase saw the ball bounce up to Sam Jardine, who sprinted over the line to round up a try-filled performance, as the Eyasses obtained a 25-point victory.
FULL-TIME: WRU EXILES U16S/17S 5 – 30 OSPREYS U16S/17S