A try from the Ospreys East side as the clock went red secured them the victory and Ospreylian bragging rights in the last game of the RAG season
A wet and windy Llandarcy saw a true inter-regional derbythis evening as the Under 16's teams from the East and West of Ospreylia met in the last game of the Regional Age Grade season. With both sides showing great promise this year it was almost guaranteed to be a tight and exciting game and the supporters were not disappointed as the two teams were tied until the last play of the match, when the Ospreys East side managed to steal the win and this season's bragging rights.
Despite overall a very equal battle between the two sides, it was the Ospreys West team that got off to the stronger start. With several good breaks, including notable runs from scrum half Tom Ham, they put early pressure on the East's defence. Handling errors and indiscipline however cost them the opportunity to score.
With each side strongly matching the other in attack and defence it was 15 minutes before either team managed to get on the scoreboard. The strong start from the West worked to their advantage and Will Griffiths broke through to score. Despite the driving rain, James Eynon successfully added the conversion.
The score from the opposition seemed to spur on the East Under 16's as they launched some impressive attacking play themselves. When a knock on spoilt their chance to score the West quickly recovered and got themselves back into the game and for the next quarter of an hour there was nothing to separate the two sides.
Just as it looked like there would be no further scoring in the first half, a flurry of activity from both teams added some excitement. With four minutes remaining, the East Under 16's gained control of the ball and a great break and fast run allowed Garwyn Williams to get them on the scoreboard. Hywel Phillips' conversion attempt went wide, meaning the West Under 16's just kept hold of their lead.
When the East's prop Cary Davies was yellow carded for not releasing in the tackle, the side from the West of Ospreylia saw their chance to extend their lead before the break. A rolling maul took them over the try line and Charlie Milne dropped down to score the try. Despite Eynon missing the conversion attempt the West took a seven point lead into half time.
HT: Ospreys West Under 16's 12 - 5 Ospreys East Under 16's
As in the first half, there was very little between the two Ospreys sides as the second half got underway, with both teams demonstrating good defending against the others' attacks. When the West Under 16's Ioan Wall and Tom Davies were sent to the sin bin within six minutes of each other at the start of the second half, it gave the East side the opportunity to get onto the front foot. Soon after a great individual try by Hywel Phillips for the Ospreys East brought them within two points and his successful conversion of his own try made the two sides even.
As the sides spent the next 20 minutes battling hard and kicking back and fore they matched each other so equally neither could gain the advantage. That was until the last play of the game, when the clock went red Ben Asprea launched an impressive last ditch attack and his break saw him crash over the line to steal the win. There was just time for replacement Sam Evans to add the conversion before the final whistle.
FT: Ospreys West Under 16's 12 - 19 Ospreys East Under 16's
Ospreys East Under 16's Head Coach, Kevin James, remarked on his team's last minute victory:
"Tonight was a great way to end a good season for us. We chatted to the boys before the game and pointed out it wasn't a trial, just a game of rugby and the key message was just to enjoy the game. We gave them the licence to try things and express themselves in a team environment.
"We started the game a bit slow, I think we were a bit in awe of them and credit to the West, they were strong and we to defend our line for long periods but the boys showed great character and resilience and I think particularly in the second half we saw the reaction and it was the most complete performance we have had all year."