Ospreys 20 Glasgow Warriors 5

The Ospreys booked their place in the first ever Magners League Grand Final after a real battle at the Liberty Stadium.

Tries from Shane Williams and James Hook, along with 10 points from the boot of Dan Biggar saw the home side progress at the expense of Glasgow, and a final against Leinster or Munster now awaits in a fortnight.

The Ospreys started brightly, looking to move the ball at every opportunity, and they were rewarded with the first try of the game in the 10th minute from Williams. A thumping tackle by skipper Ryan Jones on Fergus Thomson near halfway saw the Glasgow hooker losing possession, allowing Williams to pounce on the ball and, showing neat footwork he eluded the tackle of Mark McMillan near the touchline to race clear and score, Biggar converting.

Dan Parks tried his luck with a penalty effort from inside his own half after Paul James had been penalised for bringing down the scrum, but while his attempt had the direction, it just dropped off at the last moment to fall under the crossbar.

As the visitors settled and began to put the Ospreys under some pressure, referee George Clancy was forced to speak to Marty Holah and Glasgow wing Daniel van der Merwe after a wrestling match off the ball, before a long clearing kick from Lee Byrne put the Ospreys back deep into opposition territory.

It was a fast and frenetic match, with neither side able to take control as possession swung back and forth without any real opportunities being created, and the intensity of the contact area saw a number of players needing lengthy treatment before the game had reached the 30 minute mark.

The usually reliable Parks then failed once again with a penalty attempt from a tight angle close to the Ospreys 10metre line to leave his side trailing by seven points.

van deer Merwe was again involved in an off the ball tete-a-tete, this time with Ryan Jones, forcing the touch judge to intervene.

With the clock almost up for the first period, good pressure from Andrew Bishop saw the centre charging down a Parks clearance, but he was unable to control the bouncing ball as he chased it through, knocking on as he looked to gather allowing Mr Clancy to bring the half to an end with just the one score separating the teams.


The Ospreys began the second half in the worst possible way, with the visitors closing the gap to to two points within a couple of minutes of the restart. The problems stemmed from the Ospreys failure to clear their lines properly in front of the posts. From the resulting line-out, Thomson overthrew to the back of the line allowing Holah the chance to gather, but his knockdown was ragged. McMillan pounced on the loose ball and fed Thomson, and there was no stopping the hooker in the corner. Parks once again failed with the kick, making it three misses from as many attempts.

It may not have been the biggest crowd seen at the Liberty Stadium this season but those present were creating an atmosphere worthy of a semi-final, helped in no small part by a vociferous travelling support from Scotland. It was the Ospreys fans who were cheering again though with 50 minutes gone, Biggar having no difficulty slotting over a  penalty from the 10 metre line.

Ospreys tails were up, and just four minutes later they extended their lead thanks to a wonderful piece of individual skill from Hook, who picked the ball up at the ruck before evading the first tackle and chipping it over Parks and racing past the Cardiff Blues bound fly-half to ground. Another successful kick from Biggar took the score to 17-5.

An Ospreys reshuffle then saw Nikki Walker and Filo Tiatia introduced to the action in place of Andrew Bishop and Ryan Jones, Bowe switching to outside centre. Moments later a dazed Jerry Collins left the field, Ian Gough joining the action with Jonathan Thomas moving to the back row.

Glasgow upped the tempo as they looked for a way back, but having worked their way upfield and earning a kickable penalty with 15 minutes to go, Parks opted to kick to the corner instead of taking the points. The Ospreys defence held firm though, allowing Williams to eventually clear, before Ryan Bevington replaced Adam Jones in the front row.

Glasgow were enjoying a lot of possession without seriously threatening the Ospreys rearguard, and there were further changes with Ed Shervington and Jamie Nutbrown introduced for Huw Bennett and Mike Phillips as the Ospreys coaches looked to make full use of their 22.

With the clock approaching time, another penalty from Biggar put the icing on the cake, sparking celebrations at the final whistle, as the Ospreys wait to discover who their opponents will be on Saturday 29th May.