Richard MustoeÂ´s late intercept try secured the Ospreys a famous victory over Australia at the Liberty Stadium.It was an achievement to rank among some of the great tour victories - such as SwanseaÂ´s victory over world champions Australia in 1992.
Richard MustoeÂ´s late intercept try secured the Ospreys a famous victory over Australia at the Liberty Stadium.It was an achievement to rank among some of the great tour victories - such as SwanseaÂ´s victory over world champions Australia in 1992. The Ospreys were without 13 first-choice names - the likes of Gavin Henson, James Hook and Justin Marshall - while Australia fielded 13 capped internationals, including six in a powerful and experienced pack.
When Australia took the lead with a blistering try created by Cameron Shepherd and finished off by Adam Ashley-Cooper.
But they hit back to draw level at 13-13 with a try from hooker Barry Williams and the win was sealed when Mustoe picked off a pass from Australia fly-half Mark Gerrard and raced 40-yards to score.
Fly-half Shaun Connor, named man of the match, landed 14 points from three penalties, a conversion and drop-goal which had edged the Ospreys ahead before MustoeÂ´s grandstand finish.
But while the record Liberty Stadium crowd celebrated, it was a desperate start for AustraliaÂ´s old-fashioned European tour.
It was made worse by the sight of highly-rated blind-side flanker Hugh McMeniman, who played against Wales at the Millennium Stadium last year, being carried off on a stretcher after just eight minutes. He was soon back on his feet - although he was taken to hospital as a precaution.
McMeniman, who was injured in the second lineout of the game, turned 23 today and was making his comeback six months after undergoing a shoulder reconstruction.
Play was halted for six minutes and the incident put a dampener on the game, which did not spark into life until ShepherdÂ´s brilliance created the opening try.
The Western Force full-back brilliantly gathered a poor pass with one hand, raced down the left wing and fended off Tal Selley before slipping an inside pass for Ashley-Cooper.
With half-time approaching they counter-attacked from their own half and, after racing clear down the right wing, full-back Stefan Terblanche was taken out off the ball.
The Ospreys took a quick tap and scrum-half Jason Spice darted for the line.
He was halted just short but Australia lock James Horvill was yellow-carded for killing the ball.
The hosts claimed the subsequent lineout and drove hooker Barry Williams over.
ConnorÂ´s conversion levelled the scores at 13-13 at half-time.
Further Australian indiscipline followed soon after the break as prop Guy Shepherdson was sin-binned for a stamp, but Connor hit the post from the resulting kick at goal.
Fellow Aussie prop Nic Henderson was fortunate not to follow minutes later for a stamp on Ospreys number eight Filo Tiatia.
But it was Tiatia who was judged to have been the offender for apparently killing the ball and was promptly given a yellow card.
Connor hit the post but Shepherd added a penalty to nudge Australia into the lead while both men were off.
Connor landed his third penalty on 70 minutes to level the scores again and then a drop-goal three minutes later gave the home side some breathing space.
With time running out, Australia launched an attack from inside their own 22, but a stray pass from Gerrard allowed winger Mustoe to intercept. The victory was sealed when Mustoe raced 40-metres for the try.
Tour Match - Liberty Stadium
Ospreys (13) 24
Pens: Connor 3
Drop Goals: Connor.
Australia A (13) 16
Pens: Shepherd 3.