The reigning Regional Age Grade champions got their 2015/16 campaign off to a start with a narrow loss away at the Scarlets
It was a good start to the 2015/16 campaign for theyoung Ospreys as within 3 minutes they were lining up for a penalty kick after their powerful scrum caused the Scarlets to be penalised. Tom Howells successful effort giving the Ospreys an early lead.
The lead unfortunately didn't last long for the visitors as the Scarlets, who were on top form in attack all night, soon had them under pressure. Despite a sustained defensive effort, the Ospreys couldn't hold their line and the Scarlets powered through for a converted try.
As the first quarter drew to a close, the home team extended their lead with an outstanding individual run, the Scarlets winger running from the Ospreys 22 to score. The successful conversion extending their lead.
As impressive in defence as offence, the Scarlets then weathered several attacks by the Eyasses. Ewan Gully made a notable break but soon hit a solid wall of defenders that looked impenetrable, before handling errors and infringements cost both teams chances.
While neither team could make it over the try line there was a penalty apiece before the half ended. Poor discipline cost the Ospreys first and then the Scarlets, with Tom Howells kick bringing the first half scoring to a close.
HT: Scarlets Under 18's 17 - 6 Ospreys Under 18's
The Ospreys defence improved in the second half, they held out a huge attack as the Scarlets went through the phases and repeatedly battered the try line. Despite their efforts all they could come away with was a penalty kick, that was missed, for the Ospreys not rolling away.
The home side continued to test the Eyasses, who were so busy defending from inside their own 22, had little opportunity to attack. The hard work of the visitors apparent as again all the Scarlets could gain from the period was another penalty attempt, which again went wide.
As the game drew to a close, the Eyasses finally started to be able to build some momentum of their own. Forwards Charlie Davies and James Ratti pushing through the home team's back line to gain territory but it started look like their efforts wouldn't be rewarded with a try as they continued to struggle to make it the last 10 metres.
That was until five minutes before the end, from nowhere Howells made a massive break up the wing before passing to Tom Ham who completed the move. Howells successful conversion meaning they trailed by just four points.
The home side saw the best of the dying moments of the match, putting themselves into the danger zone on several occasions but a combination of a strong defence by the Ospreys and their own errors meant no further points were scored.
FT: Scarlets Under 18's 17 - 14 Ospreys Under 18's
Ben Rose, Ospreys Under 18's Head Coach, commented on the game:
"The performance is what we have to be about first game up and we're really pleased with where we have got to. We have to remember that we are a group with 8, 9, 10 schools and colleges being represented when we put a regional team out, we aren't a one or two colleges who play together week in week out.
"What I saw in the first 20 minutes was that we were a bit loose and it gave them a few opportunities but in the second half we tightened up. To stop the Scarlets scoring at all in a half when they are at home is a good performance from the team. Could we have won the game? Yeah. Can we tightened up in some areas? Yeah. But we have the building blocks for a really good team."I can't fault the effort, the enthusiasm and the commitment of all the individuals in the group. Some individuals really stepped up but most importantly we have a team here that really want to play together."