The Ospreys U16s were back in action on Wednesday night, the East side facing Dragons North at Ystrad Mynach and the West taking on Blues South at Cardiff Arms Park.
- Tries from Tim Perkins, Callum Dodd, John Edwards and Iestyn Morgan gave the West side a try bonus point, but despite a strong second half performance from the young squad their hosts proved too powerful
- The East managed to run in six tries against the Dragons side with Morgan Creaber, Ellis Hogan, Mason Hughes and a hat trick from Riley Henderson giving the East side the win!
Blues South 31 - 22 Ospreys West
The Blues dominated the opening stages of the game testing the Ospreys defence. With a scrum in hand, a quick take from the hosts saw them powerfully carry upfield, only for a loose pass resulting in a knock on to the face giving the Ospreys a scrum.
A solid set piece from the Ospreys pushed the Blues back over the halfway line, but as the phases built up, a penalty against the Ospreys for holding on handed the Blues the ball back.
Despite missing the kick to touch, the Blues ripped the ball from Osprey hands, and with numbers out wide a pass to Morgan Oliver gave the scrum-half the opening try. Jamie Howells with the conversion to give the Blues an early 7-0 lead.
With momentum on the Blues side another strong period from the hosts kept them in the Ospreys half! But a chip over the top was nicely taken by Ospreys Callum Dodd who tried to race out of his own half.
A turnover by the Blues put them back in control, but a race out wide was stopped in its tracks with a great tackle by Ospreys Joe Hawkins. Still with the ball in hand, the Blues tried to puncture their way through but pressure from the Ospreys saw a pass thrown straight into touch to hand Ospreys the line-out.
Coming away with the ball, a nice break from Joseph Hughes saw the Ospreys make headway into the Blues half only for another turnover to stop their momentum.
Despite the turnover Hughes managed to put in a good tackle to stop the Blues from capitalising and making their way back into the Ospreys half.
But the Blues managed to find a gap in defence and taking a quick penalty for an offside Osprey made room for Rhys Gentles to score the second try of the game. Howells with the conversion to take them 14-0 ahead.
Looking to get their names on the board, the Ospreys tried to attack in the Blues half! A good take from a lineout by Josh Rupersinghe saw the flanker crash his way through the Blues pack only for another strong Blues defence to keep them at bay. Turning them over once again the Blues came dangerously close to the Ospreys tryline! But superb defence from the young Ospreys kept them away from the whitewash and earned the Ospreys the penalty.
Racing the length of the field whilst building up the phases, the boys protected the ball well and carried their way into the Blues 22! Nudging their way closer to the line eventually a pass out wide to Tim Perkins awarded the Ospreys their first try of the game! No conversion left the scores 14-5.
But the Blues were quick to turn things back around! Winning the ball at the restart a quick take saw Mason Grady ground the ball for the Blues third try of the evening. Another missed conversion left the scores 19-5 with just five minutes left of the first half.
In the hunt for their bonus point try, the Blues were relentless in attack! With the Ospreys penalised for not throwing straight at the lineout, the Blues took the penalty quick and Morgan Oliver with his second try gave the Blues their fourth try, Howells with the conversion.
Half Time: Blues U16s South 26- 5 Ospreys U16s West
The young Ospreys came out for the second half all fired up and with the ball in hand, a great break from Lloyd Davies took the visitors deeper into their hosts half. Strong support from Joe Hawkins looked to give the side their second try, only for a tackle taking the centre into touch before he could get over the line.
However, the boys were still in a strong position and with the Blues struggling to make any headway out of their half the Ospreys managed to steal back the ball.
Carrying the ball well, quick pace from the packs saw a pass out wide nicely taken by Callum Dodd over the whitewash for the Ospreys second try of the game. No conversion left the scores 26-10 with 50 minutes on the clock.
But the Blues weren’t ready to let the Ospreys back in the game. A quick break from the pack only two minutes later saw Oliver James race over the line for the Blues fifth of the game! No conversion but the Blues extended their lead 31-10.
Despite the 21 point deficit the Ospreys dug in deep and dominating the next few stages of play, the Ospreys powered their way back into the Blues 22, and with a yellow card awarded to the Blues for foul play, the visitors were keen to take advantage.
And they wasted no time in doing just that! A driving maul from the lineout powerfully driven by the forwards was nicely finished off by John Edwards to put the scores at 31-15 with no conversion.
From the restart the Ospreys were strong once again! Punishing the Blues defence and taking advantage of the extra man, the visitors spotted the gaps well and a quick pass out wide saw Iestyn Morgan clear to score. Joe Hawkins with the conversion to narrow the scores 31-22. But unfortunately for the young Ospreys their comeback was cut short, with no time left for another try despite their efforts.
Next up for the Ospreys U16s West is a visit from the Dragons U16s North on Wednesday 7th February.
Dragons South 12 - 38 Ospreys East
Elsewhere the Ospreys East wasted no time at all in making a mark on their game. A quick break from Riley Henderson saw the centre race over the try line with less than a minute on the clock, the conversion from Jac Tregonneg.
Still fired up from their opening try, another break from Henderson saw him race over the try line less than a minute later, Tregonneg with the extras to put the scores at 0-14 with only three minutes on the clock.
But the Dragons showed glimmers of fighting back! A pass out wide to Kyle Collins-Smith saw the wing run clear of the whitewash for the hosts first try. No conversion left the scores 5-14 with less than 10 minutes played.
Keen to keep dominating the game, powerful drives from the Ospreys made room for Morgan Creaber to crash over the line for the Ospreys third of the game. No conversion kept them at 5-19 just shy of the 20 minute mark.
Keeping the pressure on the young Dragons, the Ospreys blitzed their way into the Dragons half once again, this time Ellis Hogan with the finish to take the Ospreys comfortably ahead at half time.
Half Time: Dragons South 5 - 24 Ospreys East
With the bonus point already in the bag, the young Ospreys took their foot off the gas momentarily and the Dragons were quick to take advantage, Jonathan Painter spotting the break to score the try. Josh Ponchaud with the conversion bringing the scores to 12-24.
But the Ospreys were keen to keep their strong first half performance going, and with another sublime break, Henderson raced his way over for the hat trick.Tregonneg’s conversion extended the lead to 12-31.
Still applying the pressure the Ospreys attack again proved far too strong for the Dragons with Mason Hughes grounding the ball for the sixth of the game, Tregonneg’s boot rounding off a well deserved win for the visitors.
Next up for the East side is a visit from the Scarlets West also on Wednesday 7th February.