The Ospreys U18's touched down five times and survived a late Saracens onslaught on their way to a 35-28 victory at Llandarcy yesterday afternoon.
Adam Williams, Jordan Adderley and Sam Evans scored a try each with Tom Evans grabbing himself a brace.
The Ospreys started nervously, immediately handing over possession to Saracens from the kick-off. The visitors looked for a way through the defence but the Eyasses held firm. Unable to find a way through the solid Ospreys line, Alex Brown dinked a grubber kick towards the corner which Ryan Ward managed to pick up and score in the corner. Brown added the extras.
Possession was hard for the Ospreys to retain, spilling the ball in midfield and unable to gather their own lineout ball. After managing to win clean ball from a lineout, the Ospreys immediately gave away a penalty for crossing and Brown happily took the three points.
An Ospreys scrum was awarded directly from the restart which gave them an opportunity to respond and that’s exactly what they did. A simple pop pass to Liam Popham sent the big centre hurtling through the middle of the defence. Popham simply drew his man and put in Tom Evans to score his team’s first points. Luke Price added the two.
Price started to control the Ospreys attacks from outside half and they started to threaten. Saracens noticed the danger and kicked for territory, forcing sliced kicks from the receivers. The London outfit looked to their driving maul via the forwards to gain yards. The maul was illegally collapsed by the defenders and Brown took another three points from the touchline.
A quick tap from big second row, Adam Williams, caught the defence unaware. The move continued to gather momentum and after several offloads, Williams crashed over from close range to finish off the move he started. Price stroked over the conversion and the Ospreys were in the lead for the first time in the match as the half time whistle sounded.
After the restart, both teams exchanged attacks, playing running rugby and keeping the ball alive at every opportunity. Ospreys gave away a penalty at the breakdown but Brown missed his first kick of the game.
The Ospreys were unable to keep hold of their own lineout ball and Saracens immediately moved the ball out wide. Fullback, Michael Young, dashed down the touchline, showing great strength to squeeze his way over in the corner. Brown was unable to add the extras.
Saracens looked to clear their lines following the kick off but blasted the clearance out on the full. Price then caught the defence napping, when he ran towards the lineout mark to throw in quickly to Jordan Adderley who breezed easily over the line unopposed. An immediate response by the Eyasses. Price made it three out of three with the conversion.
Saracens started to make mistakes and the Ospreys began to get clinical. Carl Leyshon scooped up the overthrown Saracens lineout and launched it to robust centre, Joe Thomas. He cut through the defence like a hot knife through butter before finding support from Evans who crossed for his second of the game. Price slotted his fourth conversion.
Evans wasn’t only in try-scoring form. The winger halted a couple of Saracens attacks with crunching hits in the middle of the park. A turnover from an Evans tackle saw Thomas breaking again, offloading to support runners before Sam Evans eventually finished the move off. Price maintained his 100% kicking form with his fifth two-pointer of the game.
Saracens weren’t going to lie down and succumb to the Ospreys. An Alex Brown inspired comeback kept the Ospreys on their toes. Brown found a mismatch in the defence before weaving his way through tacklers to dive over for a great individual try.
The Ospreys managed to cling on to their seven point lead and will take a well-deserved 35-28 victory into the forthcoming campaign.