Leicester 39 Ospreys 16

The Ospreys LV= Cup campaign got off to the worst possible start as they suffered a 39-16 loss at the hands of Leicester Tigers at Welford Road

Sam Williams grabbed the Ospreys only try as ill-discipline from the visitors helped Leicester grab a bonus point win over the Welsh region.

It was Leicester who struck first through the boot of Welshman Owen Williams who slotted a simple penalty after some strong build-up play from within their own half. The outside-half was provided with another opportunity to take three points soon after and he duly delivered to extend the home team’s lead early on.

An infringement at the lineout by the Tigers gave Sam Davies a chance to add a penalty of his own but he could not replicate Williams’ success. Leicester ventured back into the visitors half where the Ospreys discipline cost them again as Williams landed his third three-pointer just before the fifteen minute mark.

The young Ospreys team looked to break their duck and grab a foothold in the match as they carried into their opponents half. The home team were giving away penalties of their own and IRB Young Player of the Year, Davies, was on hand to punish them as he opened his team’s account.

An unfortunate high tackle from Leicester captain, Boris Stankovich, on Joe Rees, which saw the young tight-head leave the pitch, helped Davies bring the Ospreys back within three points. Davies found himself staring at the posts again but his effort hit the bar.

Leicester were looking confident with ball in hand as they kept possession from deep within their own half. Owen Williams made a half-break before offloading to his half-back partner Sam Harrison who broke through a gap. The home team were on the front foot and it wasn’t long before Thomas Waldrom took the ball from Harrison at a ruck before crashing over. Williams missed the conversion.

The Ospreys hit back immediately as they attacked from their own half, sending Matthew Jenkins scampering away through the midfield. As the visitors looked to attack, tackler Michael Noone failed to release at the breakdown so Davies cut Leicester’s lead to five points.

HALF TIME: Leicester 14 Ospreys 9

Early in the second-half, Sam Davies looked to give his team some field position as he pinned his opponents back in their twenty-two. But the Tigers were more than willing to put the ball through the hands, despite the greasy conditions. Hooker, Harry Thacker made the break for the home team before Graham Knoop made a high tackle. Williams extended his team’s lead early on.

The momentum was with the home team as they looked to take the game to the Ospreys. Scott Hamilton exploited a gap in midfield and with Jamie Gibson in support, they were able to get into the visitors twenty-two. Lloyd Peers found himself on the wrong side of a ruck as the Tigers looked for their second try so the captain was sent to the bin following numerous infringements from his team. Williams took advantage and slotted an easy three.

The Ospreys were finding it difficult to gain any continuity in the match with possession being hard to come by.  As Leicester kept hold of the ball, the visitors kept infringing, helping the Tigers gain a promising amount of territory.

The home team were now opting to kick to the corner from penalties and following a powerful driving maul from the Leicester pack, a snipe from Harrison saw him score beneath the sticks, despite the best efforts of Peers. A simple conversion was added by Williams.

Leicester continued to keep their foot on the gas as they again, made camp in the Ospreys twenty-two. Some solid tackling from the likes of Hanno Dirksen and Arthur Ellis kept the Tigers at bay but ill-discipline at the breakdown let the home team kick for the corner.  Leicester kept faith in their driving maul and after it came down, it took a couple of phases and a visit to the TMO before Sam Wells was awarded a try for his team. Williams missed.

The Ospreys hit back with a surprise try of their own through replacement Sam Williams. The second row popped up with the ball from a Leicester maul before galloping thirty metres down the wing to dot down in the corner. Davies added the conversion from the touchline.

As Leicester were on the hunt for the bonus point try, Sam Williams was deemed to have brought down another prominent Tigers maul and he was sent to the sin bin. The home team again went to touch and this time, Michael Noone peeled off the back of the driving maul to grab the fourth try and the bonus point for his team. Williams converted as the final whistle sounded.

FULL TIME: Leicester 39 Ospreys 16