A full package performance from the young Ospreys saw them run in seven-tries to secure a big win on their final outing of the Combined series of fixtures through April.
In their last fixture of the round-robin Combined series, the Ospreys U16s were looking to finish on a high against the Dragons U16s Combined at Parc Y Scarlets, and they certainly did.
This 33-point made it two losses – against the Cardiff Blues U16s Combined and the Scarlets U16s Combined – and two wins – against the Scotland Reds U16s and the Dragons U16s Combined – for the young Ospreys side.
Throughout the opening exchanges, despite going through the phases, the young Ospreys closed in on the visitors through good defensive line speed – holding the Dragons in their 22.
The Eyasses were rewarded for their continued pressure when they were the first to get the scoreboard moving. As the ball was moved to the narrow side, the young Ospreys went through the phases and a lovely break by Tom Florence saw him offload to Ellis Evans who crashed over the line in the corner for an unconverted try.
Through the hosts’ attacking play, the Dragons found it difficult to exit their half as most of the rugby was played within close distance of their line.
The Ospreys continued to pressurise the Dragons’ line with a scrum on the five-metre line, which wheeled slightly and allowed Oscar Muxworthy to pick up and drive over the whitewash from close range for the Eyasses’ second try of the game, successfully converted by Dan Edwards.
Another Ospreys’ try soon followed, less than minute later, as a well worked move to the narrow side saw Tom Florence show and go, and tie in the Dragons’ defence. He then offloaded to Cori Lewis-Jenkins who sliced through the visitors’ defence, and crossed the line in the corner for a break-away try, Edwards with the extras – pushing the hosts further into the lead, taking the score to 19-0.
With 18-minutes on the clock, the Dragons make a rare incursion into the Ospreys’ 22, but the hosts’ defence remained intact. A well-worked move saw them putting the ball wide to the open side, Hamish Anderson entered the line to create an overlap, which then saw Jack Maloney tackled into touch as he attempted to cross the line.
The Dragons went through the phases as they attempted to punch holes in the young Ospreys’ defence, and forced the hosts to play a defensive game. The visitors were now holding onto the ball for longer periods of time, and saw them increasingly pressurise their opponents.
From a quick tap and go on the Dragons’ 22, the Ospreys were able to break the gain line and through good hands and movement, the Eyasses threatened. From a driving maul, Ospreys’ Captain Kyan Lloyd found himself being pushed over the line and grounded the ball, Edwards once again slotting the posts to add the extra two.
HALF-TIME: OSPREYS U16S COMBINED 26 – 0 DRAGONS U16S COMBINED
Immediately from the restart, the young Ospreys were on the attack and less than five-minutes in, the hosts were once again rewarded for their efforts. Excellent vision by Edwards, saw him put a cross-field kick that was well gathered by Lewis-Jenkins who dived over the line in the corner from close range for his second try, Edwards once again adding the extras.
The Dragons were quick to fight back and to finally move off the mark with 45-minutes on the clock. A lovely break from Oli Andrews saw him slice through the Ospreys’ midfield and then link up with Harry Jarvis who crashed over the whitewash in the corner for an unconverted try, to reduce the deficit.
As the game moved into the final 10-minutes of play, the Ospreys continued to pressurise their opponents line, and were further helped by the Dragons’ infringements to gain territory. A penalty kick deep for touch by Edwards saw them set up, a twist and turn out of the tackle by Iestyn Lewis in midfield saw the ball offloaded to Edwards who dodged his way through the visitors’ defence to force his way over the line for an unconverted try.
There was still time for one more Ospreys’ try before the final-whistle blew, as the hosts’ capitalised on a Dragons’ mistake in midfield. Lewis picked up and used his speed to break away and cross the whitewash from 22-metres out, Edwards once again adding the extra two points, giving the Ospreys a 40-point lead.
In the closing minutes, the Dragons added the final score of the game, an excellent break from Oli Andrews saw him weave inside and then outside – changing angles to go under the sticks, successfully converted by Joe Westwood, to take the score to 45-12 as the full-time whistle blew.