The Ospreys U16s West were in action on Wednesday evening where they welcomed the Scarlets U16s West to Tata Steel RFC.
The young side wasted no time in stamping their mark on the game! Gathering the ball from the start a pass out wide to Llien Morgan sent the wing over the line in the opening minute to put the hosts ahead. Keillen Cullen converting to take the young Ospreys 7-0 ahead.
Momentum firmly on the side of the Ospreys, the squad worked the ball back into the Scarlets half. Securing a lineout deep in their opponents 22, a quick pass from the throw in sent Ioan Hilldrup over the line for try number 2 for the hosts. Cullen converting to put the Ospreys 14-0 ahead with less than 10 minutes on the clock.
Trying to get their names on the scoreboard, the Scarlets battled back on the quarter of an hour mark with a big drive to send Jac Delaney over for the first points of the game for the visitors. Harry Fuller converting to put the scoreboard at 14-7.
With the rain starting to play its own part in the game, both sides struggled to keep hold of possession in the slippery conditions. But the Ospreys dug in deep, and just before half time found an extra gear. A quick pick up from the back of a ruck saw Rhodri Lewis fly over the line for the Ospreys’ third of the game. Cullen keeping his 100% record at the posts, to put the Ospreys 21-7 ahead at half-time.
HALF TIME – OSPREYS U16s WEST 21 – 7 SCARLETS U16s WEST
Running out for the second half, the Ospreys mirrored the opening stages of the first. Llien Morgan, taking the ball quickly and scoring his second try of the game just two minutes into the half. The conversion taken by the wind to put the score at 26-7.
Dominating the next few stages of the game, the Ospreys ran the ball back into the Scarlets half once again and a nicely timed pass out wide to Kian Abraham sent the wing over for the unconverted try.
But just as the Ospreys were storming ahead, a technical glitch with the floodlights halted the game for ten minutes.
Generator back up and running and the Ospreys picked up where the left off. A solid set piece from the pack left Freddie Stevens free to break through the Scarlets defence and score the try. No conversion, but the hosts held the healthy 36- 7 lead.
But the Scarlets weren’t about to throw in the towel, despite the 29 point deficit. Ifan Vaicaitis, racing over the line only a minute later to score an unconverted try for the visitors to put them into double figures.
Just before the final whistle, the Scarlets found the time to run the ball back into the Ospreys half. Spying the break in defence, Dafydd Jones raced over the line for the try for the boys in red. Iori Humphreys converting to draw and end to the game, with the young Ospreys clinching the 36-19 victory.
Speaking after the game, Head Coach of the U16s West Nick White said: “Obviously, as a group we’re happy to get the win over the Scarlets but it was a bit of a weird evening. We started the game very strongly with two tries in the first five minutes but then the heavens opened, and it sent the game into a bit of a lull.
We talked in the week about getting the basics right, but the weather made that really difficult for both teams. To be fair to the boys we did manage to overcome the conditions and find another purple patch just before the half time whistle.
We started the second half the same as the first, very strong with two really quick tries, but the floodlights going off for about 8/9 minutes in the second half really seemed to take the life out of the game for us and we found it difficult to fire any shots again after that.
In fairness, credit has to go to the boys, we’ve had a rocky start to block two with a win against Blues North, then the fixture against RGC postponed, and a bye week, then to pick up a convincing win last night is a sign of real character. It can be difficult to keep focus with a lot of disruption but they are a great group of lads with good attitudes, and they’re all really looking forward to the final two games against the East and the re-arranged fixture against RGC.”