A last-minute Glasgow try denied the Ospreys, stripped of all their Welsh internationals, a losing bonus-point as the visitor’s second-half performance earned them a 28-16 victory at the Liberty Stadi
The young Ospreys team fought valiantly, going in with a seven point lead at the break but Jeff Hassler’s first half try along with 11 points from the boot of Sam Davies wasn’t enough for them.
Glasgow scored 22 unanswered points in the second half, scoring tries through Chris Cusiter, DTH Van Der Merwe and Ryan Wilson with extras coming from Ruaridh Jackson and Stuart Hogg.
It was Glasgow who struck first within the first three minutes. An early spell of possession for the visitors helped them claim three points through the boot of Jackson after Tito Tebaldi was caught on the wrong side of a ruck.
For the next five minutes, Glasgow kept hold of the ball and went through the phases as they made camp in their opponents half. The visitors failed to make a breakthrough as they were greeted by a wall of black jerseys every time before Sam Lewis earned the Ospreys the turnover.
A overthrown Glasgow lineout on the quarter of an hour mark was quickly gathered by Italian, Tebaldi who threw a sublime miss pass to Tom Issacs. The centre fended off the tackle of Van Der Merwe before capitalising on a two on one with Hogg by putting Canadian, Hassler over for the try. Sam Davies added the extras.
Glasgow were again given an opportunity at a three pointer as Tebaldi was a little too eager to get his foot to the ball at the breakdown. Jackson slotted the penalty to reduce the Ospreys lead to a single point.
Tebaldi, who was the centre of everything in the opening quarter of the match, provided his team with promising field position after a clever outside of the boot box kick, forcing Glasgow to take it into touch.
The pack, led by Ospreys stalwart Duncan Jones, then provided Sam Davies with a strong platform in the centre of the pitch and the IRB Junior Player of the Year struck a sweet drop-goal from just outside the twenty-two to cancel out Jackson’s penalty a moment earlier.
Sam Davies was pinning the Glaswegians back into their twenty-two with some fine kicking out of hand, forcing errors out of their back three. Davies soon got his reward as his team were granted a penalty which he slotted to extend the Ospreys lead to seven points.
HALF TIME: Ospreys 13 Glasgow 6
This time it was Richard Fussell’s turn to show off his tactical kicking early on in the second half as the fullback, under pressure, dinked a lovely kick over the heads of the Glasgow defence and into touch. Soon after, Davies, brimming with confidence had another pop at a drop-goal but this time the young fly-half pulled it wide.
It wasn’t until just after ten minutes of the second half until the Ospreys extended their lead. Scott Baldwin made found a gap in the visitors defence before pulling off an outrageous pass behind his back to Fussell. The fullback took his team into the twenty-two before Glasgow infringed at the breakdown. Davies took the Ospreys lead to ten points with the simple penalty.
Cries of ‘Ospreys, Ospreys’ echoed around the Liberty Stadium as the home team made another trip into the Glasgow twenty-two. The Ospreys neared ever closer to their opponents line and had all the momentum but it was the Glaswegians who came away with the ball. Sean Lamont made the break up to the Ospreys ten metre line before passing to Chris Cusiter to finish off in the corner, despite Ben John’s best efforts to prevent it. Jackson couldn’t convert from out wide.
Following a lengthy stoppage due to an injury to Sean Lamont, Glasgow found themselves with another chance to reduce the Ospreys lead after earning themselves a penalty from a scrum. Stuart Hogg, from long distance, added the three points.
The Ospreys almost hit back immediately as a trademark carry from Morgan Allen resulted in the number 8 galloping well into the visitors half but he had no one in support. Tebaldi looked to recycle the ball quickly to his backs but the Italian slipped and spilled the ball forward. From the resulting scrum, the Glasgow pack were awarded another penalty. With Scott Baldwin deemed to be at fault, the hooker was sent to the sin bin.
Glasgow were now the team with their tails up as they started to make inroads into the Ospreys twenty-two. After Ryan Wilson came close to touching down for the visitors, a quick check with the TMO saw Van Der Merwe awarded a try after he sniped cleverly at the back of the ruck. Jackson added the two points from the touchline with an impressive conversion.
After several reset scrums, the seven man Ospreys pack held strong and were awarded the penalty which was greeted with great cheers from the home crowd. The Ospreys were playing positive rugby as they neared close to the Glasgow goal-line but again, the visitors came away with the ball and ventured up into the home twenty-two.
Several phases from the Glasgow forwards pushed them dangerously close to the Ospreys line and it wasn’t long until Ryan Wilson, with the support of his teammates, drove over near the posts to score, sealing an away victory and taking with it, the Ospreys losing bonus point. Jackson converted.
FULL TIME: Ospreys 16 Glasgow 28