The Ospreys ran in seven tries at the Liberty Stadium as they romped to a comfortable victory over Treviso, the bonus point win keeping alive their Champions Cup hopes with two games to play.
- Evans (2), Baker, Watkin, Cracknell, Dirksen and John all score tries
- Biggar kicks six conversions
- Bonus point win means sixth spot remains in touching distance with two to play
- Judgment Day is next before Ulster visit the Liberty Stadium on Saturday 7th May
Dan Evans helped himself to a try in each half, Man of the Match Dan Baker scored and Owen Watkin added first half scores, before Olly Cracknell secured the bonus point early in the second. Hanno Dirksen then rounded off a contender for try of the season to take him level seventh in the all-time list with Gavin Henson, with a late score from Ben John rounding off a resounding win.
It took eight minutes for the Ospreys to strike and it was a well-worked score from 10 phases of approach play to give the hosts the lead.
The try stemmed from a lineout steal by Rynier Bernardo midway inside the Ospreys half and, after the ball was worked upfield, it was Josh Matavesi who supplied the final pass to Evans on the left. The full back still had plenty to do but was able to jink his way over from 20m out, beating some ineffective tackling from the Italians.
Biggar converted, but Treviso were allowed to get their side of the scoreboard moving within minutes, Jayden Hayward with a three pointer after Nicky Smith went off his feet at the breakdown.
Try two went the Ospreys way in the 22nd minute, Dan Baker peeling off the back of the rolling maul to dab down after the Ospreys had ignored three kickable points to go for the corner. Biggar added the extras.
The TMO was then called into to rule on the grounding after good work first from James King, with a half break into the 22, and then Rhys Webb galloping towards the line, but the verdict was that the scrum half was inches short.
It was try time just a minute later though, the Ospreys taking full advantage of the resulting scrum, Josh Matavesi running a good dummy line, allowing Biggar to slip it to Watkin, the teenager celebrating signing his first pro contract this week with a simple finish, confirmed by the TMO, for the second try of his short Ospreys career.
Again Biggar added the extras and the Ospreys led 21-3 with 27 minutes played.
The Ospreys were dominant but, as they searched for a fourth try, their momentum was halted by a lengthy injury stoppage, Treviso hooker Ornel Gega eventually stretchered off.
When the game restarted, with just minutes remaining until the break, it seemed that the Ospreys pack were going to successfully drive their way over for the bonus point score, only for Dean Budd to blatantly walk in from the side in full view of everyone and steal the ball, an offence ignored by the officials who eventually somehow managed to award a scrum to Treviso.
HALF-TIME: OSPREYS 21 BENETTON TREVISO 3
There was delayed justice eight minutes into the second half when Budd found himself taking 10 minutes in the bin, the result of persistent Treviso infringements at the contact area.
As the Ospreys looked to turn the screw with the extra man, pounding on the Treviso line, the visitors found themselves down to 13 when Roberto Barbieri was pinged for kicking the ball out of Baker’s hand as he looked to move it from the back of a ruck 2m from the line.
After opting for a scrum, where they won another penalty, Webb was alert to the wide open space out on the right, this time going quickly, throwing a long pass to the wing where Cracknell crashed over for his first ever Ospreys try, Biggar adding the extras to secure the bonus point.
It was to be Cracknell’s final involvement before being replaced by Dan Lydiate.
Within a minute the visitors were back under their posts after a stunning length of the field score, sparked by Baker running back at the Italians from the restart. Webb, Bernardo, Biggar and Lydiate were all involved before Watkin supplied the final pass for Dirksen to cruise over. This time, Biggar’s touchline conversion struck the outside of the near post, which meant the scoreboard read all the threes at 33-3.
Back up to their full numbers the visitors helped themselves to their first try of the night, Alberto Sgarbi taking the pass from scrum half Edoardo Gori to score after the pack had driven forwards from a lineout on the left. Sam Christie converted.
As it moved into the final 10 minutes a swinging arm from Budd on Adam Beard meant that the Kiwi’s evening came to an early conclusion, his second yellow followed by a red.
The Ospreys took full advantage, going to the corner from where Evans was able to snipe over from close range, converted by Biggar, before Ben John rounded off the evening with a simple run-in for try number seven after good work by Biggar, who slotted over his sixth conversion.
Next up for the Ospreys is a crucial derby at the Principality Stadium on Judgment Day against the Blues on 30th April, before the final game of the season sees Ulster visit the Liberty a week later on Saturday 7th May (3.00pm KO).