Ahead of Friday’s game at the Morganstone Brewery Field, we take a look at the story behind this iconic image of a previous clash between the Ospreys and Ulster.
Back on Tuesday 13th April 2010, the Ospreys travelled to Belfast to take on Ulster in a rearranged Magners League clash, just four days after a heartbreaking one-point defeat to Biarritz in a Heineken Cup quarter-final in San Sebastian. which saw the Ospreys move up to second place in the Magners League after a bonus point victory away at the Kingspan Stadium, Belfast.
It proved to be a successful evening for the region as they came away with a bonus point victory that not only secured their place in 2010/11 Heineken Cup, it also moved them up to second place, strengthening their position in the race for the first ever end of season play-off with just three games to go.
An early try from Shane Williams was followed by a double from James Hook, before Tommy Bowe secured the extra point with a try right at the death .
The game was littered with infringements, and the sound of the referee’s whistle, as between them the two sides converted ten penalties – Dan Biggar taking four for the Ospreys and Niall O’Connor taking five for Ulster.
As the half-time whistle blew, the Ospreys were trailing 18-12 after a first forty minutes which saw possession and the lead frequently changing hands between the two sides.
Williams’ early try took the visitors into an early 5-3 lead after Ryan Jones provided quick ball from the back of a scrum on halfway, the backs combining well, going left first before going back the other way. With the cover coming across, Byrne's clever chip to the corner was patted back in field by Sonny Parker for Jerry Collins who crossed the line but was prevented from grounding.
From the resulting scrum, the ball was worked out wide to Williams who scored in the corner despite the best efforts of Andrew Trimble and Paddy Wallace.
This was followed shortly after by a try from James Hook as after Ian Gough secured quick ball at the back of the line-out, allowing his side to break quickly, and it was Hook who went through the gap, handing off Wallace strongly as he went over.
With Biggar successfully converting. However, this was not enough to send the visitors down the tunnel at half time with a lead, the two penalties slotted by Niall O’Connor, an unconverted try from Simon Danielli and a try in the final moments of the second quarter of the game by Andrew Trimble which was converted by O’Connor, ensuring Ulster had a six point advantage.
The second-half saw the Ospreys rack up the points in an exciting forty-minutes.
Biggar was able to draw his team level with two quick penalties and this was followed by a second try of the night for Hook with 53 minutes on the clock. The centre showed good vision to read O'Connor's attempted clearance, charging it down and racing through to gather the loose ball and score under the posts, Biggar's conversion making it 25-18.
The Ospreys then conceded two penalties which were successfully slotted by O’Connor which took them within a point of the visitors. As the pressure mounted, Gough was sent to the sin bin for an indiscretion in the maul. However, while O’Connell’s seventh successful kick of the night put the side back in front, Ulster were unable to capitalise on their extra-man advantage after, and failed to cross the Ospreys line and score any tries.
With 71 minutes gone Ulster held the lead but two Biggar penalties saw the Ospreys retake the lead.
The Ospreys fourth try of the night came in the dying minutes of the game, when the Ospreys were back up to 15 men, as Adam Jones pounced on a loose pass to punt the ball forward allowing Bowe to race through and mark his Ravenhill return with the fourth Ospreys try of the night, Biggar converting and sealing the bonus point win.