The Ospreys ran in four tries to secure a bonus point win at Scotstoun, their first victory in Glasgow in for seven years.
- A Habberfield try just before the break saw the Ospreys go in with a 5-0 lead at half-time
- Glasgow were reduced to 14 after a red card early in the second half and the Ospreys took full advantage as O'Flaherty, Baker and Beck all crossed to secure a bonus point win
- It was a first ever win at Scotstoun and, after six straight defeats in Glasgow, a first win in the city since 2009
In a tight contest played out in Baltic conditions, the Ospreys led at the break courtesy of a try from skipper Tom Habberfield, which saw them going in 5-0 ahead.
A red card for Glasgow second row Brian Alainu'uese early in the second half proved to be a pivotal moment as the visitors took full advantage, Dan Baker, Tom O’Flaherty and Ashley Beck all going over as the Ospreys won at Scotstoun for the first time.
The Ospreys dominated the early possession and territory, probing and pushing without looking like breaking down the black defensive wall facing them.
Josh Matavesi was handed the chance to open the scoring in the 12th minute after a Glasgow offence on the floor but the Fijian was unable to find the target from 35m out to the left of the sticks.
Having soaked up the early pressure, Glasgow almost grabbed the first try of the night with their first visit into Ospreys territory, Lee Jones doing well to claim possession in an aerial contest with Tom Grabham, before pinning his ears back and going for the line.
Fortunately for the Ospreys, Dafydd Howells was alert to the danger and he was able to track across and make a try saving tackle 5m out, the Ospreys being awarded a scrum from where they were able to clear their lines.
Conditions were preventing too much by way of running rugby by either side as the game moved into the second quarter, both sides spilling the ball that seemed to have a similar grip to the proverbial bar of soap.
However, the Ospreys were controlling the set piece, dominating the lineout with a number of steals, and starting to win penalties at the scrum.
Despite the lack of points on the scoreboard it was never less than entertaining as two physical and committed teams went at each other, but the first score eventually came with just three minutes to go until half-time.
It went to the Ospreys, who had actually found themselves having to work defensively as Glasgow enjoyed their first spell of prolonged pressure, the visitors doing well to keep them out on the 22m line.
The aggressive defence eventually forced Glasgow to spill the ball and as it bounced around on the floor, Grabham was able to collect and send a long ball upfield. It was Habberfield who won the race, kicking it on before diving over the line for a score, confirmed by the TMO after checking for offside and the grounding.
Matavesi’s touchline conversion struck the post, but the Ospreys were ahead at the break.
HALF-TIME: GLASGOW 0 OSPREYS 5
The Ospreys started the second half brightly, building possession patiently in Glasgow territory and seven minutes after the restart they were handed a huge boost when Glasgow were reduced to 14 men, referee George Clancy conferring with the TMO before showing a red card to Brian Alainu’use for leading with his head and shoulder at the ruck after Rory Thornton had gone to ground.
They took full advantage of the extra man and extended the lead within minutes, a first PRO12 try for winger O’Flaherty on his competition debut.
The forwards did the hard work, first of all inching towards the line from a lineout and, although Glasgow did enough to stop their progress and win the scrum on their own line, the Ospreys setpiece was too strong for them, winning the ball back.
With a penalty advantage in their favour, Matavesi sent a perfectly weighted cross kick to the corner, where the young winger was able to collect and ground it on one movement.
Matavesi’s conversion attempt failed but the Ospreys led by 10 with half an hour remaining.
It was all Ospreys now and try number three arrived seven minutes later through Baker. The initial break came from Habberfield, spotting a gap and bursting through before feeding Dan Evans who was up in support. He thought he was through but a big double hit brought him down metres short. The forwards then took over, a series of short range drives sucking in defenders before the number eight powered over to score.
Again the extras went begging, Matavesi hitting the post, but the scoreboard now read 0-15.
The bonus point was wrapped up with 13 minutes to play, a score started and finished by Beck, after his initial half-break into the 22. Following a number of pick and go’s from the pack the ball was spun out by Brendon Leonard and it was the centre who sidestepped his man and glided over for the score. Matavesi was on target this time, his first successful kick of the night.
All Glasgow could muster in response was one final flourish that saw Junior Bulumakau take Rory Clegg’s pass and scamper over for a score that went unconverted, but it wasn’t enough to take the shine off a great evening for the Ospreys, who welcome Edinburgh to the Liberty Stadium next weekend for the second half of a Scottish double header.