The Ospreys Premiership Select suffered a heartbreaking last minute defeat in the third round of the British & Irish Cup on Sunday afternoon.
- A dominant first half performance from the young squad left Nottingham struggling to gain any territory in the opening half
- Tries from Luke Price in the first and a last gasp effort from Harri Morgan almost secured the victory for the Ospreys
- Two yellow cards in the final minutes for the Ospreys PS allowed visiting fly-half Tiff Eden to slot the winning penalty at the death
In the hunt for their first win of the British & Irish Cup, the Ospreys Premiership Select took to the Gnoll to take on Nottingham, who were llaso ooking for their first victory.
The Ospreys PS were quick to make their mark on the game, dominating possession in the early stages as Nottingham struggled to make any headway.
Securing a penalty from a scrum allowed Luke Price to kick deep into Nottingham’s 22. Building up the phases, the first try of the game looked the likely outcome before an offside Osprey gave Nottingham the ball.
A missed kick to touch, nicely taken by Andrew Claypole, kept the Ospreys in attack and a swift break from Alex Jeffries followed by a quick offload to Luke Price made way for the fly-half to open the scoreing with a try, Price slotting his own conversion to take the Ospreys PS 7-0 ahead with 20 minutes played.
Nottingham tried to conjure up an attack, but a strong Ospreys defence kept them in their own half. A quick turnover gave the home side the penalty, with Price opting for the posts. Adding the three points, the Ospreys extended their lead 10-0 with just under half hour played.
Nottingham tried to answer back by building an attack in the Ospreys half but a loose pass gave the Ospreys the turnover before they could reach the 22. Ospreys with the scrum looked to make their way back into Nottingham’s half before being penalised for holding on, giving the visitors their first opportunity at an attack in the 22.
Just before the half time whistle, Nottingham managed to gather up some momentum. A nicely spotted cross field kick from Eden left wing Dave Williams clear to run over the whitewash!
Eden’s conversion taken by the wind kept the Ospreys PS just ahead going in at halftime.
HALF TIME - Ospreys PS 10-8 Nottingham
Ospreys made a shaky start to the second half, kicking the ball straight out from the start to hand Nottingham the scrum.
But a powerful break from Morgan Morris from his own 22, saw the number 8 race into Nottingham’s half. Strong support saw the Ospreys come away with the penalty and the put in at the scrum. But Nottingham managed to take advantage and win back possession.
A knock on from Nottingham handed the Ospreys a scrum. But an early engagement gave Nottingham the penalty. Opting for another scrum didn’t favour the visitors, with the Ospreys gaining the upper hand and clinching back the penalty leaving Price to clear.
Securing the lineout, Nottingham turned on the attack, and a penalty for not rolling away left Eden kick three points to edge just ahead at 10-11.
With momentum on their side, Nottingham were on the front foot. Gaining another penalty, Eden slotted another three points for an offside Osprey to extend their lead 10-14 with just under 10 minutes left on the clock.
But the Ospreys PS weren’t ready to let their hard fought performance in the first half slip just yet. Another superb break from the forwards saw play reach Nottingham’s 22 once more.
A little chip from Price was nicely picked up by Harri Morgan who powered over the line for the try. The conversion blew just wide of the post so the Ospreys led 15-14.
With five minutes left on the clock, the Ospreys were holding a single point lead. A loose pass from Nottingham was nicely spotted by the Ospreys backs, and kicked back upfield where a chase from three Osprey players from their own 22 into Nottingham’s looked to secure them their third try, only for a knock on over the line to go in Nottingham’s favour.
Winning a penalty from the scrum, Nottingham kicked a long distance touch finder to take play inside the Ospreys half. A powerful driving maul brought them within kicking range with an advantage in hand. The Ospreys were then dealt a strong blow as the clock turned red. With both Jay Williams and Matthew Dodd awarded yellow cards for collapsing the maul.
Eden opted for the posts, and a successful kick for the visitors stole the victory from the Ospreys PS.
Speaking after the game, head coach Tom Smith said:
"From the first half performance we definitely deserved more, the second half we definitely let it slip and maybe deserved what we got from that second half performance because we ended up just killing ourselves. We had a positive half time, we wanted to do more of the same and up the ante a little bit but we came out and had the complete opposite second half.
“We're frustrated because the performance is there, we just have to put it on the field for the full 80 minutes. This young group, we said in the changing room, you learn more from losing than winning. But you have to learn from it, you can't just keep making the same errors time after time and that's what we seem to be doing at the moment. It's the same sort of story as our first two games, and this group of boys have to learn at some point, we can't keep making mistakes and putting ourselves in positions that let teams back in the game."
The Ospreys Premiership Select will be back in action on the weekend of 15th January where they face Bedford Blues at the Talbot Athletic Ground, K.O TBC.