The Ospreys U18’s maintained their unbeaten run this season to claim the silverware in the WRU Regional Age Grade Championship.
- Tries from Rhys Henry and Jordan Walters, and penalties from Cai Evans earned the young squad the victory
- The Ospreys U18s led from the 10th minute of the match.
- The Ospreys U18s dominant campaign means they claim their second title in three seasons
Running out at a very wet and cold Sardis Road, the Ospreys U18s were in fine form from the off last night as they looked to maintain their unbeaten record and win the 2016/17 Regional Age Grade Final.
The first stages of play were a strong Ospreys effort, denying the Dragons any ground out of their own half. Within ten minutes, a powerful surge from the pack allowed Rhys Henry to crash his way over the line for the first points of the game. However with the conversion failing to find it’s mark they led by just the five points.
In the second quarter the Dragons attacking efforts started to gain them territory and left the Ospreys defending for lengthy periods, but the Eyasses held firm, turning over the Dragons to clear on several occasions.
Good discipline meant they were able to keep the Dragons out without conceding penalties, and the Eyasses and went in at the break without conceding any points.
Half Time: Ospreys U18’s 5 - 0 Dragons U18’s
With no sign of the rain easing off as the second half got underway, both sides struggled to keep hold of the ball and gain any momentum.
A try looked inevitable after a break as Callum Carson managed to outrun the Dragons defence, but an offload to the wing was knocked forward inches from the try line.
The next phases of play were an all Dragons affair, gaining ground and dominating the attack. Not wanting to come away from the Ospreys half without something from their efforts, Reagan Mahoney slotted a penalty for an offside to put the Dragons on the board.
Quickly forcing their way back into the Dragons 22 from the restart, the Ospreys had soon responded. Earning a shot at the posts after the Dragons were penalised for not rolling away it was Cai Evans with the successful kick, making the score 8-3.
The Ospreys were soon back on the attack, intercepting the ball deep inside their 22 as the Dragons pressed the line run and racing up field deep into the opposition 22, only for the Dragons defence to catch up and halt the progress before they could reach the line. However the referee awarded a penalty against the Dragons for interfering on the ground, and with that penalty came a yellow card for Mahoney, reducing the Dragons to 14 men.
Taking advantage of the extra man, the Ospreys opted for the lineout. Protecting the ball well from the set piece, great support play quickly brought them within metres of the line once more. A strong drive allowed prop Jordan Walters to crash over the line for his team's second of the evening.
Evans' conversion went just wide but the Eyasses held a 13-3 lead as the game entered its final quarter.
Quick play from the Ospreys backs nearly saw fullback Dylan Moss cross over for a try only for the ball to get lost in contact. However, the referee was playing advantage from a previous infringement and went back for the penalty. Evans had no problem slotting the kick in between the posts to extend the Ospreys lead.
The Dragons showed no signs of giving up and with ten minutes left to play were still digging away at the Ospreys defence. Working their way through the phases and edging deeper into the Ospreys 22, some quick work from the forwards set up Rio Dyer to break through and claim the Dragons first try of the evening. A successful conversion narrowed the scores 16-10.
There was a scare for the young Ospreys in the final minute of the game with the Dragons breaking through the back line from within their own 22. A chip chase led to a battle of the wings in a race for the ball as it sailed over the line.
With Dragons players and supporters erupting in applause and Osprey hearts pounding, the decision was sent to the TMO. To the relief of the Ospreylian contingent he confirmed the Ospreys had reached the ball first and had denied the Dragons the possible winning try in the final seconds.
With the decision made the referee blew the final whistle, and the Ospreys U18’s were crowned winners of the 2016/7 WRU Regional Age-Grade Championship, their second success in three seasons.