The Ospreys made it 10 PRO12 games without loss against the Blues, battling to victory in an attritional derby clash in the Liberty Stadium rain on Saturday afternoon.
- Alun Wyn scores the only try of the game while Sam Davies, a half-time replacement, kicks eight points on the way to claiming the man of the match award
- Ospreys trailed 6-0 until Jones' try just before the hour
- Blues haven't won against the Ospreys in PRO12 since New Year's Eve 2010, and their only win at the Liberty was back in 2005
- The victory was the Ospreys second consecutive win in the PRO12 and third in four games in all competitions
- Next up is Zebre away next weekend before Bordeaux visit the Liberty on Saturday 12th December, 5.15pm KO
They trailed to a solitary Jarrod Evans penalty at the break following a keenly contested first half that offered little to trouble the scorers. The youngster doubled his team’s lead early in the second half, but the Ospreys roared back to claim a deserved win as they dominated the final half hour, Alun Wyn Jones scoring the only try of the game and Sam Davies kicking eight points.
A second consecutive PRO12 win, and third in four games in all competitions, put daylight between the Ospreys and their Welsh rivals, with today’s opponents and the Dragons now five behind in the table as the Ospreys start to look upwards to the top six from their current position in eighth.
The Blues drew first blood seven minutes in with three points from young fly-half Evans, Rory Thornton penalised for an infringement on the ground.
That kick aside, it was a pretty low-key affair played out almost entirely in midfield, neither side looking like troubling the opposition in the first quarter, albeit the Ospreys enjoying the greater share of possession.
An absolutely huge Ospreys scrum on the 20-minute mark brought the crowd to life, the home support enjoying seeing their pack marching the Blues backwards. Biggar’s kick to the corner from the resulting penalty put the Ospreys in a good position but, not for the first time, possession was lost cheaply.
As the clock continued towards the half hour mark it was the home team who were slowly starting to control the contest, without really creating much by the way of opportunities.
There was a spark of life eight minutes from the break, a Dan Evans run from deep inside his own half putting the Ospreys on the front foot, only a great tap tackle from Gethin Jenkins stopping the full back scything his way straight through.
Although the ball was turned over for the umpteenth time, Dan Baker was alert to Lloyd Williams’ clearance from the ruck, charging the ball down to keep the pressure on the Blues inside their 22.
However, yet again it was knocked on and the visitors were able to exit, winning a penalty at the scrum that allowed them to clear.
Having absorbed what the Ospreys had thrown at them, the Blues had a chance to double their lead a couple of minutes from the break, but Evans’ penalty was wide of the mark.
HALF-TIME: OSPREYS 0 CARDIFF BLUES 3
Biggar was replaced at the interval due to a back problem and his replacement, Sam Davies, had an early opportunity to level it with a long-range penalty from close to halfway inside two minutes. Unfortunately the distance beat the youngster and the Blues remained in front by three.
The deficit became six on 50 minutes, Evans again on target after the Ospreys were penalised at the scrum.
That score drew a response from the Ospreys and they were rewarded for the first real spell of intense pressure with the first try of the contest. A quick tap and go penalty from Justin Tipuric was repelled, albeit with a suspicion of a Blues offence, but the Ospreys went again and it was the skipper who applied the finishing touches to a series of pick and go’s that had carried them upfield, driven over from close range for his 16th Ospreys try.
Davies succeeded with the simplest of conversions and the Ospreys led by a point with almost an hour played.
10 minutes later Davies took his team four clear after former Osprey Craig Mitchell was penalised on the floor, 10-6 the score with 10 minutes to play.
The Ospreys were dominating in all areas now as the rain hammered down and, although Davies missed with another penalty attempt, he was given a chance to kick for goal again following a side entry and he made no mistake, taking the Ospreys seven clear with 90 seconds to go.
The Blues, to their credit, were fighting for a draw and they put the Ospreys under intense pressure as the clock ran four minutes past time. For over 30 phases they tried to find a way through but the Ospreys defence stood firm, ensuring the shut out and a win that keeps the region moving in the right direction up the table.