A spirited and gritty performance from the Ospreys U16s West saw them battle until the very end and steal the win in the final minute to continue their winning ways.
The Ospreys U16s West travelled to Parc Eirias, Colwyn Bay, to take on RGC U16s in their penultimate match. Despite the long journey to the north of the country, the visitors reaped the rewards as they proved too strong for their hosts and defeated RGC on their home-ground with a 17-24 win. With three wins in a row for the young Ospreys, this means they can enter this week’s head-to-head against the U16s East at St. Helens full of confidence.
On a spring-like day, which provided the perfect conditions for open rugby, the young Ospreys were the first to get the scoreboard moving with only six-minutes played. The ball was moved wide to the Ospreys’ right wing George Dunn, who crossed the whitewash for the first try of the game, which was successfully converted by captain, Dan Edwards. With an early 0-7 lead, the visitors were quick to put their mark on the game.
With 21-minutes on the clock, and after a period of both teams testing each other’s defence, the visitors were on the attack again as, Alex Hughes crossed the line and dabbed down for an unconverted try, and pushed the visitors further into the lead with a score of 0-12.
From the restart, RGC gathered composure and were rewarded in the final minutes before half-time as Sam Stoddard went over the whitewash in the 34th minute, Carwyn Jones with the extras, to elevate themselves from the zero-mark and close the deficit as half-time approached. Despite the hosts’ efforts, the Eyasses still possessed a 5-point lead as both teams left the field at half-time.
HALF-TIME: RGC U16S 7 – 12 OSPREYS U16S WEST
As play resumed, both teams continued to explore each other’s weaknesses which made for an exciting second-half.
The young Ospreys were the first to ring the changes in the 40th minute of play as they looked to extend their lead further with fresh legs as the hosts dug in deep. Minutes later, the Ospreys were caught infringing as Luke Morgan received a yellow card for hands in the ruck and saw the visiting team reduced to 14-men.
The home-team now looked to exploit the extra-man advantage and after making several changes to their team in the 48th minute, RGC were rewarded as in the 50th minute Peter Pattenden dabbed down, for an unconverted try, to equal the score at 12-12.
This rallied the Ospreys who increased their composure and determination in play. This saw RGC make mistakes under the Eyasses’ pressure as from a kick up field, Huw Davies took a player out in the air and was yellow-carded for doing so.
With 55-minutes on the clock and the visitors now back to full strength, they continued to pressurise RGC and capitalise on their extra-man advantage as Iestyn Lewis went over the line for an unconverted try, to once again take the young Ospreys into the lead with a score of 12-17.
The hosts were quick to respond as from the restart, RGC threw the ball around using the backs and forwards and found a gap in the Ospreys’ defence, which Rhys Jones exploited and saw him cross over the whitewash to level the score in the 60th minute: 17-17. After Carwyn Jones pushed the ball wide in his attempt to convert, the final 10-minutes left everything to play for.
In the final stages of play, the Ospreys gathered themselves and upped the tempo. With a level score and only 10-minutes left to play, both teams were cautious not to make any mistakes as they battled it out. However, the Ospreys continued to pressurise RGC until the very end which caused RGC to make a mistake as a result of this pressure and led to a penalty try on the 70th minute. This took the score to 17-24 on the final whistle and handed the young Ospreys the win.
FULL-TIME: RGC U16S 17 – 24 OSPREYS U16S WEST