Ospreys narrowly miss out on 7's final spot

Despite two wins from three games a lack of bonus points cost the young team a trip to Twickenham

In an echo of last season's competition the Ospreys kickedoff the Premiership 7's taking on the Cardiff Blues, and just like last year's competition it was with less than a minute on the clock that they scored the first try. This year it was Alex Humphries that got the first points on the board with an outstanding run half the length of the pitch. No conversion was added but after 30 seconds the Ospreys were 5 - 0 up.

The Blues took their wake up call and defended well and as soon as they got their hands on the ball raced all the way in to take the lead with a converted try. However that lead didn't last long with Keelan Giles soon showing his speed and outpacing the Blues all the way to the try line. Ross Jones this time adding the conversion.

With the halfway mark rapidly approaching and both teams playing some beautiful running rugby, there was just time for the Blues to send the ball out wide and with no answer in defence from the Ospreys they added their second try and the game went to half time all equal at 12 - 12.

Unlike last year's match, the Ospreys started the second half as they had the first and put the Blues on the back foot from the off with Aled Jenkins' storming run ending in a try. The restart saw them powering up field again and a wide ball to Keelan Giles allowed him to cross the try line.

The Blues momentarily had no response for the Ospreys power and were pushed backwards consistently until Rueben Williams took the ball and added the Ospreys third try of the half with Ross Jones again adding a conversion.

However the dying few minutes of the fastĀ  paced game belonged to the Blues. This time it was the Ospreys that couldn't get back to defend quick enough and the Cardiff side scored twice in quick succession. It was too little too late however as the game finished:

Cardiff Blues 24 - 33 Ospreys

The wheels came off the Ospreys hopes of reaching the finals in London in the second match of the day when two yellow cards within seconds of each other allowed the Dragons to dominate.

A strong start saw the Ospreys inside the Dragons' 22 straight away and after a short struggle with the oppositions defence, as well as some defending of their own, Ross Jones broke through to score. He then added two more points converting his own try.

With just three minutes played, Ospreys Captain Aled Jenkins was sent to the bin for a high tackle and the Dragons' took advantage with a converted try of their own. The Ospreys problems were compounded when less than a minute after their first, Keelan Giles was also shown a yellow card. With the Ospreys down to just 5 players, the Dragons' made easy work of racing over for their second converted try to take a 14 - 7 lead into half time.

Still a man up after half time, the Dragons made short work of try number 3, crossing the white line just 30 seconds into the second half. As soon as the Ospreys were back to a full compliment they looked dangerous and were quickly over the try line themselves thanks once again to Keelan Giles, Aled Jenkins this time with the conversion.

The extended period of trying to cover the field a man down had had an effect on the young Ospreys however and their tiredness showed as they allowed the Dragons to cross over two more times before the final whistle.

FT: Ospreys 14 - 31 Dragons

Going into the final round it was only the Scarlets who had been unbeaten all day but the Ospreys knew that to stand a chance of qualifying for the final's in London they had to do what the other regions hadn't been able to.

The teams were very evenly matched and it took 4 minutes for either side to launch a serious attack. It was the team from the West that made the run but when the ball went loose, Keelan Giles was again the player there to pick it up and run, this time half the length of the pitch to score.

The Scarlets were quick to show why they had won their first two games after the restart. Despite some strong defending from the young Ospreys, and with the clock already showing half time, the Scarlets pushed their way over. The only difference between the teams at half time, the Scarlets successful conversion.

Strong team work in the second half saw the Ospreys power toward the try line and Aled Jenkins eventually found the required gap to slip through, before Joe Gage completed the move to score his first try of the day. Ross Jones' conversion extending their lead.

There was an opportunity for the Ospreys to add more points but a knock just short of the line spoilt the opportunity. Instead a missed tackle allowed the Scarlets back into the game andĀ  their unconverted try evened the scores.

The last minute of the game proved to be the most exciting of the day as the Ospreys made a huge effort to secure the win. They battered the Scarlets defence but after being bundled into touch seconds from the final whistle it looked like it wasn't to be. However they managed to steal the line out and with the Scarlets being penalised twice after the clock had gone red, Lloyd Williams powered over to secure the win.

FT: Ospreys 17 - 12 Scarlets

With the Scarlets, Ospreys and Dragons all winning two out of their three matches, it came down to bonus points to decide who would make the final's day. Unfortunately it was the Ospreys that just missed out with one bonus point compared to the others' three.

Dan Griffiths, Head Coach of the Ospreys 7's side commented on his team's performance:

"I'm very pleased with the young squads today, they acquitted themselves really well. It was probably the two yellow cards with the Dragons that cost us that game and a shot at the final, which is obviously a disappointment, but other than that it's been a really positive day for us and these young men will take an awful lot from the experience."