For all of the pressure and territory enjoyed by the Young Ospreys, their hard work was not reflected on the scoreboard as the visitors claimed victory at the home of Swansea RFC on Tuesday night.
Despite torrential rain and snow throughout the day, the St. Helens’ surface held out to host the Ospreys U16s West clash against the Cardiff Blues South. It was a very spirited and determined performance from the Ospreys team, but unfortunately, they fell short of the Blues who took the honours.
With only two minutes played, the visitors were the first to get the scoreboard rolling. A break on the blind side saw Tirion Sebastian Bowen slice through the Ospreys’ defence and offload to Immanuel Feyi-Waboso, who dabbed down under the sticks, which was successfully converted by Gruff Tough.
The Ospreys then set up camp in the Blues 22 and went through the phases, punching holes through the Blue wall, but their defence held out. The continued early pressure on the Blues inside their half saw them concede a number of penalties for the Eyasses which came to nothing.
From broken play, the Blues picked up on their 10-metre line, Dan Carey broke two tackles and offloaded to Iwan Prys-Jones who, with a scintillating side step around the Ospreys’ defence, accelerated down the narrow-side to cross the whitewash in the corner. It went unconverted but still gave them a 12 point lead 17 minutes into the game, somewhat against the run of play.
In less than a minute from the restart, Prys-Jones was quick to pick up the ball again on the half-way line, and using his pace, broke through two Ospreys defenders, only to be tackled high as he reached the line, preventing him from scoring, which resulted in a penalty try. They led 0-19 with 22 minutes played.
Twenty-five minutes into the game, the Blues were reduced to 14 men after a high tackle. The Ospreys continued to battle and threaten the Blues line. Unfortunately, this did not come to anything, as the hosts were unable to capitalise on their one-man advantage.
HALF TIME: Ospreys U16s West 0 – 19 Cardiff Blues South U16s
From the kick-off, an early charge down saw the Ospreys pressure the Blues’ line, which forced yet another penalty.
Penalty after penalty, the Ospreys continued to pressure the Blues’ line, which resulted in another sin binning. From a scrum on the 5-metre line, the Ospreys continued to punch holes in midfield, which led to Brandon Jones crashing over the whitewash. Dan Edwards added the extras to finally get the young Ospreys onto the scoreboard, closing the deficit to 12 points, 10 minutes into the second half.
However, the Blues were quickly back on the attack and from a lineout, the Blues created an overlap out wide to beat the Ospreys defence and saw David Nzamba force his way over the line for an unconverted score.
An Ospreys lineout on the Blues 22 saw them win the ball off the top and after quick hands Oscar Muxworthy went through the middle channel to score, Edwards with the extras, bring the hosts back within 10.
As the final whistle approached ill discipline meant the Blues were once again reduced to 14 men. The Ospreys were again unable to make the extra man count, and the game ended 14-24 to the visitors despite them playing 20 minutes a man short.
The U18s trip to Parc y Scarlets was postponed due to the weather and the two teams will try again tonight (Wednesday), while the U16s East face Dragons Red at Aberavon RFC.