The Ospreys moved into the PRO12 top six, and the Champions Cup spots, for the first time this season after a battling performance at the Liberty Stadium on Friday night.
- Sam Davies kicks 17 points while Sam Underhill and Scott Otten score their first Ospreys tries
- Ospreys go above Munster into sixth place, behind Edinburgh on points difference
- Next three games see Ospreys facing teams above them in PRO12 table, Connacht and Leinster away and Scarlets at home
In the proverbial match of two halves, the hosts really struggled to get going in the early stages and they trailed 13-6 shortly before half-time with just two Sam Davies penalties keeping them in touch. Sam Underhill’s first ever Ospreys try, converted by Davies, five minutes before the break meant the sides were tied at half-time, and then a much improved second half showing with Davies pulling the strings, saw the Ospreys deny Edinburgh a single point. Davies added nine more with his boot before Scott Otten became the second Ospreys of the night to touch down for the first time as Edinburgh left empty handed.
The visitors were on top early on, enjoying all the possession and territory, and it came as no surprise when the visitors took the lead 12 minutes in, Greig Tonks with a straightforward kick from 30m out after the Ospreys were penalised at the scrum.
Having spent the entire game up to that point on defensive duties, the Ospreys were able to go on the front foot for the first time from the restart, Jeff Hassler doing a great job of collecting Davies’ kick and as, the Ospreys probed, the call went against Edinburgh for not releasing, and Davies leveled it.
The visitors should have gone back in front almost instantly, Nicky Smith penalised at the breakdown, but Tonks couldn’t find the target from just outside the 22.
Tonks had better luck a few minutes later with a more difficult kick from the 10m line, Dan Baker going off his feet, and Edinburgh led once again in the 18th minute.
The Ospreys were struggling to get any real momentum in their game and were guilty of too many unforced errors, giving away possession needlessly, but their first spell of prolonged possession resulted in a penalty for offside on the 22m line and Davies made no mistake.
Once again though the Ospreys were unable to maintain parity for long and found themselves trailing just a couple of minutes later, Edinburgh grabbing the first try of the contest.
The home team were the architects of their own downfall, looking to carry ball out from deep when Dan Lydiate was stripped of possession by Sam Beard on the 22. Edinburgh attacked with pace and after a neat carry from Tonks the full-back slipped it to Allan Dell, the loosehead going under the posts, leaving Tonks with the simplest conversion. The scoreboard read 6-13 with 26 minutes played.
It was all Edinburgh at this stage and Tonks was handed another sight of the posts just after the half hour mark, Sam Parry going off his feet, but his kick from 40m was inches wide of the sticks.
A little bit of magic, their first real attacking move of the game, then saw the Ospreys draw level, Davies putting a lovely little dink over the defence, Ben John soaring high to beat Dougie Fife in the air, before a lovely little offload Underhill who slid over in the corner for his first try as an Osprey.
Davies was successful with the touchline conversion on the left to being it all-square once again at 13-all with five minutes remaining until half-time, but the Ospreys went in at the break a man short after Dan Lydiate was sent to the bin, referee Marius Mitrea showing him yellow for what he considered a no-arms tackle on Anton Bresler.
HALF-TIME: OSPREYS 13 EDINBURGH 13
Despite being a man light the Ospreys started the second half on the offensive and another penalty from Davies five minutes after the restart saw the Ospreys take the lead for the first time.
Lydiate returned to the action with his side not only surviving the numerical disadvantage but now three points to the good and a little over half an hour to play.
As the Swansea rained poured down the Ospreys now had the upper hand, Davies controlling the game tactically but, despite the lion’s share of possession, they were struggling to break down the second meanest defence in the PRO12 this season.
However, the impressive Davies put over his fifth successful kick of the evening just past the hour to take his team six clear.
Edinburgh then incurred the wrath of Mr Mitrea, skipper Neil Cochrane yellow carded with just 13 minutes remaining for going off his feet.
As the Ospreys looked to kill off their opponents, the forwards made the hard yards close to the Edinburgh line, and an offside handed Davies a straightforward three points to take his team more than a converted try clear with just eight minutes to play.
The Ospreys made the game safe with just a couple of minutes left, Otten crashing over for his maiden score from close range and, although Davies was off target with the conversion it wasn’t going to spoil the evening as news came through post-match of Glasgow’s win over Munster, which means the Ospreys leapfrog the Irish province in the PRO12 table and draw level on points with fifth placed Edinburgh.
Next up for the Ospreys are back-to-back away games in Ireland against Connacht and Leinster before Scarlets visit the Liberty Stadium on Saturday 26th March (3.00pm KO).