George North

Ospreys fall to a one-point loss to the Emirates Lions

Ospreys suffered a 27-28 defeat to the Emirates Lions at the Stadium.

In the first minute Alun Wyn Jones was penalised for a dangerous clear out at a ruck. Lions outside half Gianni Lombard had a shot at goal but pushed it wide.

Lombard did kick the opening points of the game after the Lions won an early scrum penalty just outside the Ospreys 22.

Ospreys responded and worked their way down the field, winning a penalty inside the Lions 22. Rhys Webb tapped quickly before the ball came to Luke Morgan who tipped it on to Keelan Giles and he finished in the corner. Jack Walsh converted.

The home side scored their second after going through a few phases from an attacking lineout. Walsh spotted a slight gap in the Lions defence and managed to get his hands free to offload to Giles who raced in for his second of the match. Walsh added the extras.

From the resulting kick off Ospreys conceded a penalty for obstruction. The visitors kicked to the corner; from the lineout the fierce Lions pack drove their way over the line, Francke Horn was awarded the try. Lombard converted.

Rhys Webb scored the Ospreys’ third try of the game. Max Nagy kicked cross field for Giles to take, Michael Collins threw a lovely offload to keep the ball in play. Webb then picked up from the base of the ruck and darted over. Walsh missed the conversion.

Towards the end of the half the visitors applied more pressure on the Ospreys defence. Lombard kicked another three-pointer to bring his side within one score.

Half time: Ospreys 19-13 Emirates Lions

Early in the second period Lions’ Sibusiso Sangweni was yellow carded for a tip tackle on Michael Collins.

However, minutes later the visitors scored through scrum half Sanele Nohamba after Rhys Webb dropped the ball at the back of an Ospreys scrum. Lombard failed with the conversion attempt.

The home side then kicked a penalty deep into Lions territory, the visitors defended the Ospreys maul well before replacement Dewi Lake broke off the back to power over for the bonus point try. Walsh missed the conversion.

Sangweni returned from his sin bin period as Lombard kicked a penalty over from inside his own half to reduce the deficit. Walsh replied with a penalty of his own for the hosts.

With ten minutes to go the visitors broke through the Ospreys defence moving the ball at pace, winger Edwil Van Der Merwe sprinted over the try line to score. Lombard added the extras to give his side a one-point lead.

Ospreys were awarded a penalty on the halfway line with five minutes to go, Walsh sent the ball deep into the visitors’ territory. After holding out for several phases Lions conceded a penalty. Walsh stepped up however, he pushed his attempt wide of the post.

After several phases in the Lions half Francke Horn won a crucial turnover penalty to seal the game for his side.

Full time: Ospreys 27 – 28 Emirates Lions

Head coach Toby Booth commented, “We didn’t start as well as last week, however, we did manage to wrestle the control back. But when you have the control in this league you’ve got to keep it and we didn’t do that. We set ourselves high standards and we feel that we didn’t meet them, I can’t stress enough how disappointed we are.”

Match Report by Tobias Hunt