The Ospreys Premiership select travelled to the Madejski Stadium where they faced unbeaten side London Irish in their final pool game of their British and Irish Cup campaign
- Fighting back from a 24-7 deficit, the Ospreys PS dug deep to gain their third win of the campaign
- The Ospreys PS are the first side to beat London Irish this season
- Tries from Phil Jones, Kieran Williams and a late double from Joe Thomas, along with three kicks from the boot of Luke Price secured the win for the young squad
The Ospreys PS wasted no time in making a mark on the game, winning possession from the kickoff to work an overlap out wide for Phil Jones, the fullback going over in the corner with just thirty seconds on the clock.
Luke Price slotted over the conversion giving the young Ospreys an early 7-0 lead.
Strong defence from the Ospreys denied their hosts any despite some immense pressure. Three attempts by Irish to get over the line were ruled as held up by the referee.
Not wanting to come away with nothing from their efforts, London Irish opted for the posts when awarded a penalty, fly-half Greig Tonks kicking the penalty to put the hosts on the scoreboard..
Twenty minutes in, foul play from prop Rowan Jenkins saw the visitors reduced to 14 men. Taking full advantage of the yellow card, centre Johnny Williams spotted the gap and flew over the line for the home side’s first of the game. Tonks converted to put London Irish ahead for the first time.
Still a man down, the Ospreys had to scramble their defence, but pressure from London Irish proved too much. A driving maul from the forwards saw Ollie Hoskins crash over the line, another successful conversion from Tonks extending their lead 17-7.
HALF TIME: LONDON IRISH 17-7 OSPREYS PREMIERSHIP SELECT
Back out for the second half, London Irish looked to extend their lead and it wasn't long before the Ospreys were seeing yellow again.
Lee Purnell was sent to the bin for bringing down a driving maul and denying the hosts a try.
Seconds after Irish's Ollie Hoskins crashed over following a rolling maul in the corner and Tonks with a great conversion put the hosts comfortably ahead at 24-7 with 50 minutes played.
Despite the 17 point deficit the young squad dug in deep and a counter attack from inside their own 22 saw Price break the line to race upfield. A quick offload to Joe Tomalin-Reeves, led to a high tackle from Senitiki Nayalo stopping the flanker in his tracks and the referee showing Nayolo a yellow.
Now with a one man advantage of their own, the Ospreys PS powered their way upfield, carrying deep into London Irish's 22, and a quick break from Kieran Williams saw the centre slide over the line. Price’s conversion put the Ospreys back in contention with 24-14 the score.
With a comeback looking to be on the cards, the Ospreys with momentum behind them, pushed London Irish deep into their 22. Great interplay from the backs and a break from centre Joe Thomas put the ball over the line for their third of the game.
Price’s conversion brought his side back to within a score with the clock ticking down.
With only three points between the sides, London Irish looked to finish the game, gaining a penalty in line with the posts just shy of the halfway line. Tonks didn’t quite have the distance, the ball skimming the crossbar, denying his side the chance to extend their lead.
And with just minutes left to play, good work from the Ospreys PS backs and an offload out wide to Thomas sent the centre over the line in the corner for his second of the game. The conversion attempt was just wide but the Ospreys now led by two points.
Irish continued to try and find the winning scorework their way but a penalty went against the hosts for an offside giving the Ospreys the chance to kick the ball out as the clock went red.
The final score 24-26 made the Ospreys PS the first team this season to clinch the victory over London Irish.
Speaking after the game, coach Tom Smith praised his side’s efforts:
"The way the boys performed in the second half was very pleasing and we thoroughly deserved the win. We have a number of talented youngsters coming through the ranks at the club at present and this experience will aid their development significantly. To come to the Madejski Stadium and get a result like this is fantastic and the lads have something to build on now."