After completing a successful fitness and skills day at the WRU camp on Monday at Cardiff International Sports Stadium, the young Ospreys took part in the WRU Super 6 at Sardis Road on Sunday.
The Eyasses played out two draws against the Dragons and the Exiles, before losing in the third and fourth play-off against Cardiff Blues, to finish in fourth place on the day.
DRAGONS 7-7 OSPREYS
In a scrappy game riddled with errors, neither team was able to break away on the score-board, ending in a 7-7 draw for the Ospreys U18s.
There were handling errors evident from both sides, neither team able to hold onto the ball for any length of time, to go through the phases.
A loose kick from the Ospreys pit themselves under pressure, a grubber kick bouncing kindly for Lewis Bates of the Dragons, who made the break and dabbed down, converted by Will Reed, to put the Dragons in the lead minutes before half time.
HALF TIME: DRAGONS 7 – 0 OSPREYS
From the restart, handling errors costing Ospreys possession and continue to put them under pressure.
Twelve minutes into the second-half, Ospreys’ winger Josh Sands was quick to intercept a Dragons’ pass on his own line. Using his turn of pace to break away and sprint down the full length of the pitch, he crossed the line for an excellent individual score, and converted to level the score.
Dragons set up Camp in Ospreys’ 22 in the final minutes, applying tremendous pressure, but Ospreys’ defence remained strong, as they gave it everything to keep the Dragons from crossing the white wash.
FULL TIME – DRAGONS 7-7 OSPREYS
EXILES 12 – 12 OSPREYS
A much improved performance for the young Ospreys in their second game, as they looked more confident with the ball in hand, holding onto the ball for longer periods of time which enabled increased continuity. Unfortunately, it was another draw for the Ospreys U18s.
Three minutes in, the Exiles got the score-board moving, as a lapse in concentration from the Ospreys’ back-line allowed the Exiles’ loose-head prop, Theo Bevacqua, to slot through a hole in the Ospreys defence and drive over the line, converted by Ed Dunford.
The Ospreys continued to battle, playng an expansive game and, minutes before half time, an excellent break from Joe Hawkins saw him use his speed to take advantage of a mismatch in midfield to cross in the corner, to get the Ospreys onto the score-board.
Exiles were immediate to respond seconds before the whistle was blown for half time, as they drove over the line for their second try which went unconverted.
HALF TIME: EXILES 12 – 5 OSPREYS.
As a result of the Ospreys’ pressure, the Exiles lost the ball in the contact area which allowed the Ospreys to counter-attack. The young Ospreys played the ball out wide and made progress deep into the Exiles’ half. Bradley Roderick, Ospreys’ outside centre, dodged the Exiles’ defence and through a brilliant offload allowed Iestyn Hopkins to break away over the white wash for a try, Joe Hawkins with the extra two points.
Ospreys continued to pressurise the Exiles in the dying minutes as they set up camp in their 22, displaying a lot more fluency and confidence in their play although when they did cross the line a third time the referee’s decision was no try.
FULL TIME: EXILES 12 – 12 OSPREYS
CARDIFF BLUES 24 – 12 OSPREYS
Having drawn on both their previous games, the Ospreys faced Cardiff Blues in their clash for third and fourth place..
The Ospreys, keen to make their mark on the game, put their foot on the gas and immediately pressurised the Blues. From a 5m lineout, the Ospreys peeled off the maul and the ball found its way to Ospreys’ Hooker, Oliver Burrows, who crashed over the line three minutes into the game, converted by Declan Thomas, to give them an early lead.
The Blues quickly replied, driving the Ospreys back into their 22. But the Ospreys, solid in defence, created difficulty for the Blues to gain territory and attempt to cross the line.
As the rain fell, errors continued to be made on both sides.
Minutes before half-time, a Cardiff Blues’ lineout on the Ospreys’ 5m line resulted in the ball being moved wide, and the Blues sprinted down the narrow side to cross the line, for an unconverted try, and reduce the deficit.
From the restart, the Ospreys were quick to answer as they gained possession and a great solo effort by Liam Seaward, saw him go under the sticks, pushing them further into the lead.
HALF TIME CARDIFF BLUES 5 – 12 OSPREYS
From the restart, Blues were first to apply pressure and from a 5m line out, the Blues set up a driving maul which saw the Blues’ wing-forward secure their second, but unconverted, try of the game to narrow the gap in the score.
From the restart, the Blues continued to pressure the Ospreys, and an excellent offload from the Blues saw Ieuan Pring break through the Ospreys’ defence, to go under the posts and cross the white wash, to score a converted try.
In the dying seconds, through a well-worked move, the Blues cut through the Ospreys’ midfield to break away and out-run the Ospreys’ defence, to charge over the line for another try.
FULL TIME CARDIFF BLUES 24 – OSPREYS 12