Despite a strong finish from the Ospreys, Benetton came away with the win in a close fought encounter at the Swansea.com Stadium.
TRY FOR OSPREYS! Ospreys got off to a flyer in this one. They kicked a penalty into the corner, won the lineout and went wide instantly. A set play straight off the training ground paid off as the ball ended up in the hands of Iestyn Hopkins who whipped it out to Luke Morgan for the try.
Two of the best kicking teams in the league were living up to their name in the early stages but it seemed to be Ospreys who were winning the battle early on.
Despite Ospreys controlling the early exchanges, Benetton appeared to score the game’s next try, or so it seemed. A quick breakaway opened up the Ospreys’ defence for Mendy to finish but after a TMO review it was chalked off.
Benetton were the next team to score, Joaquin Riera scoring the try. Converted by Umaga, 7-5 to Benetton.
Stephen Myler slotted through a penalty shortly after to take back the lead, 8-7 Ospreys.
As the half progressed, Ospreys began to find themselves on the wrong side of the penalty count and Benetton took advantage. Two penalties in succession from Jacob Umaga gave Benetton a 13-8 lead.
OSPREYS GO CLOSE! With half time fast approaching, Iestyn Hopkins brings in a high ball superbly and Ospreys put the pressure on near the Benetton line. Nicky Smith bundled his way over in the following phases but is held up.
HALFTIME – OSPREYS 8, BENETTON 13
It was Benetton’s turn to start fast in the second half. Umaga slotted through another penalty to extend the lead to 16 - 8.
Yellow card for Ospreys. Harri Deaves found himself in the bin and the Italian team went close shortly after, dropping the ball over the line.
The visitors made the most of the extra man shortly after though, as Marcus Watson finished in the corner. Conversion missed, 22-8 Benetton.
Despite being down to 14, Ospreys seemed to gain a foothold in the second half.
Back to 15 men, Iestyn Hopkins broke through with a superb solo run around the 60 minute mark but Ospreys were ultimately unable to finish.
With 15 minutes to go, Ospreys made changes that invigorates the team. Led by the flair of Jack Walsh, the game opened up for the home team.
Ospreys broke through with seven minutes remaining. Owen Watkin kicked it through and Luke Morgan chased superbly, jackaling over the retreating Benetton player and winning the ball near the Benetton line.
TRY FOR OSPREYS! Ospreys won the resulting lineout from the pen, went to the driving maul and Sam Parry came away with the score. Jack Walsh converts, 22-15 Benetton.
TRY FOR OSPREYS! Ospreys scored at the death, Jack Walsh with a cross field kick and Reuben Morgan-Williams finishing in the corner. Unfortunately, we missed the tough conversion and Benetton came away with the win.
FULLTIME - Ospreys 20, Benetton 21