Ospreys Narrow Defeat

A visit to theArms Park on Friday resulted in a narrow defeat against the Cardiff Blues despite some exceptional kicks from Shaun Connor.

The 2007/08 Magners League kicked off with a hard fought 17-15 defeat at the Arms Park, Cardiff on Friday.

The game never quite lived up to its pre-match billing with both sides falling foul of referee Tim Hayes and coming up with several basic errors. It was not for a lack of adventure though, as both sides showed attacking intent with the ball in hand.

The Blues were rewarded for their endeavour with a fifth minute penalty from fly-half Nicky Robinson.

The Ospreys fly-half Shaun Connor bagged a trio of fifty metre plus penalties to make the most of the Blues indiscipline.

Lee Byrne showed threat with quick pace causing the Blues trouble on several occasions with his dynamic running.

The Blues showed a good passage of play coming into the end of the first half with several quick phases the ball was spun wide to Maama Molitika passing off the ground to Rhys Williams to score.

The Blues were a point behind going into the second half but within two minutes Robinson's scored his second penalty. Andrew Millward was sent to the sin bin for coming in at the side of a ruck. Robinson kicked the resulting penalty putting the Blues ahead.

A fourth fifty metre plus effort, another blinding kick from Shaun Connor pulled the Ospreys to within a score but found themselves five points adrift when Robinson landed his own fifty metre effort.

With just four minutes on the clock Connor slotted yet another effort from inside his own half to set up a tense final few minutes but having missed the final penalty the Blues narrowly won the game 17 - 15.

The Scorers:

For Cardiff Blues:

Try: R.Williams
Pens: Robinson 4

For Ospreys:

Pens: Connor 4

Yellow card: Andrew Millward (entering the ruck from the side - 47 minutes)

The teams:

Cardiff Blues: 15 Ben Blair, 14 Rhys Williams, 13 Tal Selley, 12 Dafydd Hewitt, 11 Jamie Roberts, 10 Nick Robinson, 9 Jason Spice, 8 Xavier Rush (c), 7 Robin Sowden-Taylor, 6 Maama Molitika, 5 Paul Tito, 4 Deiniol Jones, 3 Gary Powell, 2 Gareth Williams, 1 John Yapp.
Replacements: 16 Scott Roberts, 17 Ross Johnson, 18 Robert Sidoli, 19 Mark Lewis, 20 Richie Rees, 21 Nick Macleod, 22 Marc Stcherbina.

Ospreys: 15 Lee Byrne, 14 Stefan Terblanche, 13 Mark Taylor, 12 Andrew Bishop, 11 Aled Brew, 10 Shaun Connor, 9 Justin Marshall, 8 Filo Tiatia, 7 Richard Pugh, 6 Andy Lloyd, 5 Mike Collins, 4 Brent Cockbain (c), 3 Andrew Millward, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Barry Williams, 17 Cai Griffiths, 18 Mike Powell/Tom Smith, 19 Ben Lewis, 20 Martin Roberts, 21 Jonathan Spratt, 22 Jonathan Vaughton.

Referee: Tim Hayes (Wales)
Touch judges: Jon Mason (Wales), Scott Fleming (Wales)
Television match official: Neil Ballard (Wales)