The Ospreys travelled to the Allianz Park on Saturday afternoon for round two of the Heineken Champions Cup, where they faced defending Champions, Saracens.
The opening twenty saw the Ospreys race their way into their hosts half in a bid to open the scores. Strong carries from Morgan Morris left Saracens struggling to keep the Ospreys back. But the visitors weren't able to turn their attack into points on the board with Sarries claiming back the ball.
A penalty for an offside allowed Saracens to open the scores with Elliott Daly slotting the penalty on the 13th minute.
Ospreys answered back with the attack in Sarries half. A charge down from the pack kept Saracens locked in their own 22 and a turnover from Adam Beard won Ospreys the penalty. But their attack was short lived, with a knock-on handing possession back to the hosts.
Daly added to the scoreboard moments later with a penalty inside his own half from an Ospreys infringement.
From the restart, a boot back to the Ospreys nicely landed in the hands of Cai Evans who spied the break to make the headway into Sarries 22. Support off Tom Williams on his inside allowed Ospreys to carry on the attack with the pack conjuring up the phases against the Saracens defence. But as the Ospreys edged closer, pressure from Saracens forced the knock-on to halt us in our tracks.
Running it back up field, Saracens took it quickly, and quick hands out wide saw Jack Singleton score the honours. No conversion left the score at 11-0 with just under 25 minutes played.
Ospreys had the opportunity to add their name to the scoreboard minutes later, James Hook slotting the three points after a penalty against the Saracens inside their own half.
But the hosts were quick to clinch back the momentum. Running riot into the Ospreys 22, Rotimi Segun broke loose to score in the corner. The conversion taken by the wind left the scores at 16-3 on the half hour mark.
Dominating possession, Saracens had time to go again just before half-time, Alex Lewington finding the way through for the try. Manu Vunipola converting to give the defending champions a convincing lead at the break.
Half-time - Saracens 23 – 3 Ospreys
Running out for the second half, Ospreys tried to capitalise on a knock-on by Saracens on the halfway but a forward pass handed the scrum back to our opponents.
A tough call against the Ospreys for not rolling away allowed Saracens to kick for the territory into the 22. A huge drive from Saracens looked to be the making of the hosts next try, but a solid defence from the Ospreys secured the turnover and put in at the scrum. But the Saracens didn’t want to come away from a solid position empty-handed and did well to clinch back possession. Working the ball out wide, saw Segun go over for the brace. Vunipola slotting the extras to extend their lead.
Struggling to get out of their own half after a forceful attack from the hosts, the Ospreys were forced to be on the defence. Taking advantage of penalties stacking against the Ospreys, Sarries did well to set up camp in the 22. A penalty too far left the referee running under the posts for the penalty try.
Sarries were relentless as the game entered its final quarter. Ferociously attacking allowed quick ball for Richard Barrington to crash over the line. Vunipola converting to take the score to 44-3.
As the game entered its final two minutes, the Ospreys dug in deep to try and conjure up a score on the board. Ploughing their way through the phases, the pack edged agonisingly close to the try line, but Saracens held their own to keep their opponents off the whitewash. Throwing in the tackles, Sarries applied the pressure on the Ospreys and secured the turnover to clear up field as the final whistle blew.
Full time - Saracens 44 - 3 Ospreys
Attentions now return to the Guinness PRO14 when we bring regional rugby back to The Gnoll next Saturday to face South-African side, Cheetahs, K.O 7:35pm.