Ospreys Women were crowned WRU Women’s Regional Champions on Sunday afternoon after defeating title rivals RGC in nailbiting fashion at Sardis Road to end the season unbeaten.
- A try from Natalia John in the first half put the Ospreys on the board, Beth Preece adding the extras, before RGC took the lead to leave the Ospreys Women trailing 7-14 at half time
- Tries from Amy Evans, Kerin Lake and the extras from Preece looked to secure the Ospreys the win before another surge of play by RGC brought the scores nail bitingly close at 22-21 with five minutes on the clock.
- A second try from Natalia John in the closing minute sealed victory for the Ospreys, crowning them WRU Regional Women’s Champions 2017/18
Currently sat top of the table, a win for the Ospreys Women’s senior side would crown them the Champions, but with their opponents hot on their tails in second, Sunday’s game left it all to play for, for both teams.
The Ospreys dominated the early stages of the game, with RGC’s kick off landing straight in touch to give the Ospreys the early upper hand. A solid scrum set the pack up nicely for an attack in the opposition half. Building the phases the Ospreys edged closer to the tryline but a good defensive effort from RGC kept them clear of the line.
Still pushing their way through the Ospreys looked for their first try but an eventual knock-on handed RGC the scrum. Despite another powerful scrum from the Ospreys, RGC managed to salvage the ball to come away with possession and a quick break from the backs saw them race out of their own half.
Taking a quick penalty, RGC tried to gain more territory but a relentless Ospreys defence kept them at bay and a knock on against RGC handed the Ospreys possession again. Controlling the scrum, the Ospreys attacked quickly and an offload out wide to Kerin Lake saw the captain race from her own 22 into RGC’s before being brought down.
Awarded the penalty for not releasing the Ospreys opted for the corner and good lineout and quick line speed created space for Natalia John to score the opening try. Beth Preece with the extras to take the Ospreys 7-0 ahead.
RGC looked to answer back, charging their way into the Ospreys half from the restart. Strong work from the forwards gained them a penalty, but a shot at the posts was taken off target by the wind.
Still trying to get their names on the scoreboard, RGC powered their way back upfield once again, and a quick break from the backs saw them score their opening try. The conversion evened the scores 7-7.
With momentum on RGC’s side, another powerful charge from the pack saw them in the Ospreys 22 once again, and with the penalties stacking up against the Ospreys, RGC were quick to capitalise. A driving maul over the line secured them their second try of the game and the conversion took them 7-14 ahead with half an hour played.
Looking to for their third try, RGC built another relentless attack in the Ospreys 22 in the next stage of play. But the Ospreys defended valiantly, to turn RGC over on the tryline, Preece with the clearing kick for the half time whistle.
Half Time - Ospreys Women 7 - 14 RGC Women
Coming out for the second half, the Ospreys looked to hit back early and, taking advantage of penalties going this time in their favour, the Ospreys powered their way into RGC’s 22.
Edging their way closer to the line, the Ospreys came agonisingly close to the whitewash before a knock on over the line denied them the try.
With RGC in control of the scrum, the Ospreys tackled well and a crucial turnover from the forwards handed the Ospreys back possession. Building up the phases the Ospreys battled their way upfield, a nicely timed take from Amy Evans saw the lock ground the ball for the try which went unconverted.
With momentum now swingting to the Ospreys, another quick passage of play saw them find their way into RGC’s 22 once more. Protecting the ball well, a quick offload to Kerin Lake saw the skipper crash over the line to take back the lead, Preece with the conversion to take the Ospreys five clear.
As RGC looked to answer back a turnover from the Ospreys saw Rhian Perry make a quick break out wide to take play back into RGC’s half once again. Securing the penalty for offside RGC, Preece opted for the three to take the scores 22-14 with just over 10 minutes left to play.
RGC struck back to set up a nerve wracking ending, good interplay from the backs seing them score their third try of the game. The successful conversion meant the Ospreys led by just a solitary point with less than five minutes on the clock.
The Ospreys made sure the title was theirs with a crucial, late score. Taking control from the restart, the Ospreys denied their opponents any territory or possession, instead their attack took them deeper into RGC’s 22. Running down the clock, the Ospreys dug in deep and kept their composure well, and with one last effort John broke her way through to score the try, Preece with the conversion to seal the victory and the championship for the Ospreys Women.
The Ospreys U18s Women were also victorious in their game against RGC U18s, as they notched up an impressive 50-0 win to round off their season on a high.