Read our report from Sunday's game at Swansea RFC between Ospreys Girls U18s and their Scarlets counterparts.
It was set to be a tough game for both teams, Scarlets were under pressure to hold the title and Ospreys came in as the underdogs.
Scarlets began the game kicking to the Ospreys and early mistakes saw Ospreys defending within their own 22.
Once nerves calmed and a solid Ospreys defence forced Scarlets handling errors and the Ospreys girls were on the attack.
Ospreys forwards set up hard running pods and eventually their work allowed Sara Jones, second row, to run over the white wash and get Ospreys into the lead 5-0.
From the kick-off play opened up. Lauren Smyth, fly-half, began to test the Scarlets counter attack with her boot. However, it was the Ospreys blitz defence in the 33rd minute that gave winger, Hannah Mai Jones, the opportunity to intercept a Scarlets pass and her wicked pace allowed her to take Ospreys further into the lead, 10-0. Kayleigh Powell slotted the conversion and at half-time the Ospreys were leading 12-0.
The Ospreys came out alert and ready in the second half. Niamh Terry, who came on for the second half at scrum-half, was ready to burn Scarlets with her quick pace with every penalty. This quick thinking gave Ospreys the opportunity to capitalise in the Scarlets 22.
Terry was then able to sprint through gaps in Scarlets defence and get herself over the line and Kayleigh Powell was able to put the Ospreys further ahead with a great conversion, the Ospreys lead 19-0.
Kayleigh Powell showed what she was made of; sharp decision making, speed and power gave Kayleigh the opportunity to pick through the Scarlets defence and take her team further into the lead. Kayleigh then converted her own try with the same precision as the other conversion, the Ospreys took the lead 26-0.
This lead gave the Ospreys girls confidence from the re-start. The forwards took the balls towards the try line with clean pod work and forced errors from the Scarlets. Kayleigh Powell kicked for territory and the Ospreys had a line-out in the Scarlets 22.
A well-executed driving maul got the ball closer to the try-line, Niamh Terry waited until the Scarlets were drawn in and an over-lap was created out wide. A quick delivery and sound handling skills saw Ffion Jones, outside centre, take points out wide.
The Ospreys led 31-0.
However, the Scarlets were not done and had the final. Within minutes of the restart the Scarlets quick defensive play was able to push the Ospreys into their half and force handling errors. The Scarlets scrum half, Lucy Parker, carried the ball quickly from the back of the scrum and her speed saw her over the line, making the score 31-5. Lucy then converted her own kick to bring the Scarlets score up. 31-7. Scarlets kept possession from the restart and drove the Ospreys back into their 22. Clinical decision making from the Scarlets scrum half and fly half allowed the Scarlets to take the ball over the line to end the game 31-12.
Commenting on the game, Nick White, Ospreys Under 18s Girls Backs Coach said:
“As a group we were extremely pleased with the result against the Scarlets, the players had waited a few seasons to get a win against them in the championship but we had prepared well for Sunday's match and the hard work prevailed. We were under pressure to back up our performance against the Dragons but the girls dug deep throughout and some outstanding moments of individual brilliance pulled us through against a resilient Scarlets team. We're now looking forward to our trip to the Blues who are also two from two so far.“
Captain, Gwen Grabb, added:
“As a squad we have worked extremely hard in preparation for this season and in particular our fixture against the Scarlets. To come away with a good win against a strong Scarlets team is a huge positive for us, as we came a close second to them last season. Massive amounts of passion and pride in the badge were shown on Sunday by the whole team. It was great to play in St. Helens, a venue with amazing facilities, as well as having a good crowd watching. With two from two, we are looking forward to playing the Blues and RGC in our final two fixtures.”