The Ospreys U16s combined kicked off the WRU Easter round robin with a six try victory over the Scarlets at the Centre of Sporting Excellence, Ystrad Mynach on Sunday afternoon.
- Tries from Trystan James and Billy Moxey in the first half put the Ospreys level with their opponents, with just one conversion edging the Scarlets ahead at half time
- A dominant second half display from the squad saw Iestyn Morgan, Lloyd Davies and a double from Iestyn Hopkins take the Ospreys comfortably ahead, with the boot of Joe Hawkins sealing the win
Running out for their first game as a combined squad, the young Ospreys were forced to defend in the opening stages of play, with the Scarlets gaining the upper hand to take the possession. Building through the phases the Scarlets found themselves in a strong position in the Ospreys 22, and an overthrow at an Ospreys line-out allowed room for Caine Rees-Jones to crash over the line for the opening try, Jack Tregoning with the extras.
But the Ospreys responded positvely, protecting the ball well despite the rain hammering down, and quick ball through the backs saw Trystan James make the break to race over the whitewash for their first try. The conversion drifted just wide to leave the Scarlets ahead by two with 15 minutes played.
With momentum on their side, the Ospreys powered their way back into the Scarlets half once more. A lineout in a crucial position set the pack up nicely to drive their way closer to the line, and a quick pick up from skipper Billy Moxey saw the captain ground the second try for the Ospreys. Joe Hawkins slotting the conversion took the Ospreys 12-7 ahead.
But the Scarlets fought back well and a scrum to the Scarlets was nicely picked up by scrum-half Luke Davies who raced clear of the line to even the scores. Jack Tregoning with the conversion took the Scarlets just ahead at half time.
Half Time Ospreys U16s 12-14 Scarlets U16s
Running out for the second half, it was the Ospreys who were first off the mark. Running a loose clearance kick back into the Scarlets half, quick line speed from the pack set fullback Iestyn Hopkins up for the break to score the third try for the young Ospreys, dancing through a number of attempted tackles. The conversion attempt was beaten by the wind to leave the score 17-14.
Now dominating, the Ospreys took control of territory to take play into the Scarlets 22 once more. Edging closer to the line a quick break out wide from Iestyn Morgan saw the fly-half score the bonus point try for the Ospreys. Again the conversion was off target but the scoreboard now read 22-14 with 50 minutes on the clock.
And just two minutes later, a superb break from Iestyn Hopkins saw the fullback race over the line for his second try of the game, Joe Hawkins slotting the conversion to extended the Ospreys lead to 15 points.
Despite leading comfortably, the Ospreys were relentless in defence, denying their opponents any territory in their 22. Instead the Ospreys pushed their way further into the Scarlets half to set up another attack. With a scrum in Scarlets territory a solid push from the pack set Lloyd Davies up nicely to score the Ospreys sixth try, Hawkins adding the two.
But in the closing minute, the Ospreys took their eyes off the ball, and a quick throw in close to the line allowed Rhun Phillips to score the try. No conversion left the final score 36-19 to the Ospreys.
The Ospreys U16s development side will play a Scottish Select team at the Gnoll on Wednesday 4th April, K.O 3pm, and the combined squad will continue their round robin tournament against the Dragons on Friday 6th April, K.O 7:15pm.