Ospreys Defeated Away

The Ospreys completed their Magners League campaign away at the Sportsground, losing 24 "€" 20 to Connacht.

Although Samoan winger Ofisa Treviranus crowned his first start since December with a try, it was not all plain sailing for Connacht as their scrum-half Conor Phillips, in his last appearance for the province, was given a straight red card midway through the second half.

This was a very open encounter with both sides showing a commendable willingness to throw the ball wide and attack off multi-phase possession.

Strangely the scoreboard remained untroubled until the 19th minute when Treviranus scooted over for his first Magners League try.

His opposite number, Kristian Phillips, who became the youngest player to start a Magners League game at 17 years and 250 days, had done well and Lyn Jones' youthful selection certainly rattled the hosts at times.

Former Wales and Lions centre Mark Taylor, in his last game before his retirement, was rock solid in defence and the visitors' fly-half Shaun Connor, who was making his 100th and final appearance for the Ospreys, enjoyed a lively duel with Connacht's Andy Dunne.

Dunne ended the first half as he converted Treviranus' touchdown and landed an injury-time penalty after both number 10s had been off target with place kicks.

Connacht wasted little time in adding to their 10-0 interval lead, with centre Keith Matthews bursting through for the first of his two superbly-taken tries.

Matthews ran some great angles throughout the game and got over again in the 62nd minute.

By that stage, McPhillips had been dismissed for a straight arm challenge and both Marty Holah and Brett Wilkinson had spent time in the sin-bin.

The Ospreys dominated for a 10-minute spell, landing a penalty from Connor and a neatly finished try by Phillips.

But Matthews' second effort gave Connacht enough cushion to see out the win despite replacement half-backs Daniel Biggar and Martin Roberts inspiring a late Ospreys rally.

The Scorers

For Connacht:
Treviranus, Matthews 2
Cons: Dunne 2
Pens: Wilkinson, Dunne

For Ospreys:
Phillips, Roberts
Cons: Biggar
Pens: Connor 2, Biggar

Yellow cards: Holah (Ospreys 49th minute) Wilkinson (Connacht)
Red Card: McPhillips (Connacht)

The teams:

Connacht: 15 Gavin Duffy, 14 Ofisa Treviranus, 13 Mel Deane, 12 Keith Matthews, 11 D Riordan, 10 Andy Dunne, 9 Conor McPhillips, 8 Colm Rigney, 7 Jonny O'Connor, 6 John Muldoon, 5 Andrew Farley (C), 4 Andrew Browne, 3 Robbie Morris, 2 Adrian Flavin, 1 Brett Wilkinson.
Replacements: 16 John Fogarty, 17 Ronan Loughney, 18 Brendon McGovern, 19 Michael McCarthy, 20 Conor O'Loughlin, 21 Troy Nathan, 22 Darren Yapp.

The Ospreys: 15 Gareth Owen, 14 Leigh Bevan, 13 Mark Taylor, 12 Jonathan Spratt, 11 Kristian Phillips, 10 Shaun Connor, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Tom
Smith, 7 Steve Tandy, 6 Hale T-Pole, 5 Lyndon Bateman, 4 Andy Lloyd, 3 Cai Griffiths, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Paul James (c).
Replacements: 16 Ed Shervington, 17 Ryan Bevington, 18 Mike Powell, 19 Marty Holah, 20 Martin Roberts, 21 Dan Biggar, 22 Ashley Beck.

Referee: Neil Paterson (SRU)
Touch Judges: G Clancey (IRFU), M Black (IRFU).