It was a mixed evening for the Eyasses as the U16s East secure a win in their much-awaited clash against the Dragons Red U16s, whilst the U18s faced defeat at home against tough opposition.
Ospreys U16s East 21 - 7 Dragons U16s Red
After being postponed twice, the weather conditions finally held out to allow the Ospreys U16s East to welcome the Dragons Red U16s to Pandy Park, Tondu RFC. Eager to take to the field to embark in battle, the young Ospreys turned their energy into points as they secured three tries and took a 14-point lead at the full-time whistle despite a last clutch try from the Dragons in last play.
From the off the Ospreys made their intentions clear, with quick ball through the hands looking to punch holes in the Dragons’ defence. Despite some big collisions from both sides in the opening exchanges, the Ospreys’ defence remained intact and kept the visitors in their own half.
Both sides added variety to their game. However, after conceding several penalties, this handed the Dragons’ territory and entry into the hosts’ half. The young Ospreys were straight back on the attack but defensive line speed by the Dragons saw their line hold strong.
The Ospreys looked to put the ball wide at every opportunity as the forwards and backs interlinked well in their attempts to threaten the Dragons’ line and saw the hosts set up camp in the visitors’ 22.
Both sides battled for possession with defences tested as both teams looked for a way through but neither side were able to elevate themselves from the zero mark with 20-minutes played.
Last minute handling errors were continuously costing the young Ospreys possession and territory, preventing them from making the final pass to cross the gain line to obtain the much needed points. However, from a lineout on the Dragons’ 22, off the top the Ospreys moved the ball through quick hands to midfield where Tom Florence sliced through the visitors’ defence. An offload to Ospreys’ captain Kyan Lloyd, who linked up well with the backs, enabled him to cross the line under the sticks for a breakaway try, opening the scoring in the last play of a fiercely fought first-half. This was successfully converted by Rhys Cawley, which took the hosts into the lead as the half-time whistle blew.
HALF TIME: OSPREYS EAST U16S 7 – 0 DRAGONS RED U16S
Four-minutes into the second-half, the Dragons found themselves under pressure by the Ospreys going through the phases, and as a result the visitors conceded several penalties.
The young Ospreys won quick ball 5-metres out which was put through the hands to the middle channel and an inside pass found its way to Sam Johnson who went on to force his way over the whitewash, Cawley with the extra to extend the hosts’ lead with 8-minutes played of the second-half: 14-0.
Both sides looked to play open rugby, but infringements continued to cost territory.
As play entered into the final quarter, the hosts rung the changes. A huge kick by Ospreys’ Lloyd covered 50-metres and saw them cross the gain line to gain territory and put the Dragons’ under pressure as a result of the fresh legs.
With 25-minutes of the second-half played, a yellow card for the Dragons saw them reduced to 14-men, on which the Ospreys looked to capitalise as they set up camp in the Dragons’ 22.
From a ruck on the Dragons’ 5m line, Dylan Samuel picked up and drove over the line for the hosts’ third try of the night. Cawley again slotted the posts for the extra two to increase the distance between the Ospreys and the Dragons of the scoreboard and took the score to 21-0.
The visitors were quick to respond in the dying minutes as after stealing a lineout ball, this saw Lloyd Voaden cross over the line which was converted by Oli Andrews to get the visitors onto the scoreboard and close the deficit slightly, taking the score to 21-7.
The young Ospreys continued to play an expansive game in an attempt to create an overlap right until the very end. While the Dragons could not improve their try-count, the Ospreys secured victory on home-ground with a 14-point lead in a hard-fought game which saw both defences on top.
FULL TIME: OSPREYS U16S EAST 21 – 7 DRAGONS RED U16S
Ospreys U18s 7 - 16 Cardiff Blues U18s
Meanwhile, the Ospreys U18s were also in action last night over at Aberavon RFC, Talbot Athletic Ground. It was certainly a game of two-halves as after a slow first-half where neither side were able to score any tries, the second-half proved to be more exciting as both teams were able to secure a try each. However, it was the penalties that the Ospreys conceded which made a difference to the scoreboard.
With only one-minute played, the young Ospreys gave away a soft penalty which the Blues’ Josh Phillips made no hesitation in getting the scoreboard moving as he found the posts to slot the three-points and take the visitors into an early lead.
Despite their best efforts, neither team were able to cross the whitewash successfully to turn their work into points.
Minutes before half-time, the hosts conceded another penalty which saw the Blues’ Ioan Evans extend the visitors’ lead at this half-way mark: 0-6.
HALF-TIME: OSPREYS U18S 0 – 6 CARDIFF BLUES U18S
Only two-minutes after the restart, another Ospreys’ infringement handed the Blues yet another penalty and through Phillips’ successful kick which saw the ball travel between the sticks, the visitors extended their lead to 0-9.
It was not long before the first try of the game finally came as after a period of pressure from the visitors, this saw Mitchel Barnard crash over the line, Phillips with the extras, to push the visitors further from the Ospreys on the scoreboard: 0-16.
This was shortly followed by an answer from the Ospreys as, determined to get onto the scoreboard before full-time, the hosts struck back when Bradley Rodrick crossed the line with 63-minutes on the clock, which was successfully converted by Joe Hawkins and marginally closed the deficit to 7-16.
Despite battling hard, the young Ospreys were unable to catch the Blues who proved too strong on the night, and the full-time whistle brought the score to 7-16.
FULL-TIME: OSPREYS U18S 7-16 CARDIFF BLUES U18S