Kicking off block 2 of the Regional Age-grade Championship, the Ospreys U18s welcomed the Scarlets U18s to the Talbot Athletic Ground on Tuesday evening.
Both sides struggled to gain the upper hand in the opening exchanges of play, but it was the Scarlets who were able to open the scores just shy of the 20-minute mark. A penalty against the Ospreys in their own 22 allowed Jac Tregonning to slot the three points to put the visitors ahead.
A few moments later, a Scarlets attack was short lived after pressure from Josh Carrington allowed the Osprey wing to steal the ball. Quick pace saw Carrington outrun three defenders and run from just inside his own half to score under the posts for the opening try. Joe Hawkins converting to take the Ospreys ahead 7-3.
Keen to clinch back the lead, the Scarlets battled their way back and took advantage of penalties stacking in their favour to gain the territory up field.
A try just before half-time from the visitors secured the Scarlets the lead going in at the break. Sam O’Connor crashing over the line under the posts and Tregonning converting for the young side to go 10-7 ahead.
Half-time Ospreys U18s 7 – 10 Scarlets U18s
Running out for the second half, the Ospreys turned it up a gear with a dominant attack in the Scarlets half. Working their way through the phases a huge drive from man of the match winner Kyan Lloyd saw the flanker crash over the line for the Ospreys second try of the game. Hawkins converting to take the Ospreys back ahead 14-10.
Firmly on the front foot, the Ospreys kept the scoreboard ticking over in their favour after a penalty for a high tackle from the Scarlets reduced the visitors to 14 men. Hawkins adding the 3 points to take the score to 17-10 with quarter of an hour left of play.
Scarlets weren’t ready to throw in the towel just yet. A quick break from the pack left the Ospreys scrambling to hold them back, but a solid defensive effort from the pack secured the hosts the turnover 5m out from their own tryline.
Clearing out of their half, the Ospreys attack came calling once again. Opting for the sticks after a penalty inside their own half, Hawkins showed nerves of steel to slot the three points to extend their lead.
Momentum on their side, the Ospreys kept applying the pressure to the Scarlets, and a ferocious break out wide from Carrington almost looked to be the making of a try for the hosts, but a knock-on just shy of the line denied the wing the opportunity to score.
The Ospreys held their own well as the clock turned red, denying their visitors any points on the board in the second half and securing a well-deserved win to start the second block.
Next up for the U18s side is a trip to Ystrad Mynach to face the Dragons U18s on Tuesday 5th February, K.O 7:30pm.