Two late tries secured a stunning win for the Ospreys at Ricoh Arena, as they became the first team to inflict a home defeat on Wasps in any competition since December 2015.
- Ospreys make it three wins from four in this year's Anglo-Welsh Cup but they miss out on the semis to Exeter on tries scored
- The Baker's, Jay and Dan, score in the first half, before Fonotia and Dirksen score in the final 10 minutes, Price enjoying a perfect afternoon with the boot to score five from five
- The result was Wasps' first home defeat in more than 13 months, while the Ospreys have now won their last 12 in all competitions
The victory means that the Ospreys have now won 12 successive matches, a record that stretches back to mid November, but they bow out of the Anglo-Welsh Cup despite three wins from four matches, Exeter Chiefs finishing top of Pool 2 by virtue of scoring more tries after the two sides were tied at the top on 15 points.
Nevertheless, it was a memorable day for the region who showed tremendous character and spirit in an end to end contest that saw the lead swap hands on six occasions, the Ospreys having to come from behind as they trailed with 70 minutes played.
Jay Baker opened his senior Ospreys account with first try, before namesake, Dan, allowed the Ospreys to go in with a narrow lead at the break. The late tries came from second half replacements, making an impact off the bench, as first Kieron Fonotia and then Hanno Dirksen crossed the line. Luke Price kicked all four conversions and a penalty.
Despite the Ospreys kicking off the early exchanges were all Wasps as the Aviva Premiership leaders looked to get off to a flying start, and they took the lead on nine minutes.
Awarded a penalty at the first scrum of the game, Wasps went to the corner. The Ospreys defence did a good spoiling job but, awarded a second penalty, this time the hosts opted for a scrum five metres out.
Frank Halai was held up on the line by a combination of Joe Bearman, on his 100th appearance, and Price, but there was no stopping Brendan Macken from close range, the centre going over for a try converted by Warren Seals.
The score drew an instant reply from the Ospreys as Aberavon wing, Jay Baker, went over in the corner. Like Wasps’ first, it came from a kick to the corner and, on this occasion, with another penalty advantage in their favour after Wasps had illegally halted the rolling maul, the ball was spun wide to the right where Dafydd Howell’s lovely pass out of the back of his hands freed the winger to score. Price converted from the touchline to level things.
The Ospreys try was Baker's first in senior rugby for the region, after scoring five in four games in this season's British and Irish Cup.
It was an entertaining, evenly balanced contest, with Wasps just about holding the advantage in the opening half hour, and they retook the lead when Macken went over for his second after a knock-on by Joe Thomas had been ruled deliberate, allowing the hosts to go to the corner again.
Seals’ conversion attempt was off target, and it was the Ospreys who struck next to take the lead for the first time, just before the break.
Yet again, the score stemmed from the decision to spurn three points and go to the corner and, on this occasion, Tyler Ardron was stopped just short before Dan Baker, on for the injured Rob McCusker, forced his way over to level things.
Price converted and the Ospreys led by two.
HALF-TIME: WASPS 12 OSPREYS 14
Wasps retook the lead six minutes into the second half, an offence at the ruck giving Seals the simplest of three points from in front of the posts.
A seesaw game then swung back the other way, a high tackle allowing the Ospreys to apply pressure on the Wasps line. There was no way through with the maul but the Ospreys kept pressing, eventually winning a scrum under the posts, which led to a penalty and an easy three points for Price.
A great break from inside the Ospreys 22 then saw forwards and backs combining well as play swept from one end of the field to the other, only for Wasps to win turnover ball on their own line.
As the game moved into the final 10 minutes it looked as though the home team had struck a killer blow, retaking the lead through Guy Armitage moments after Alex Rieder was held up on the line, the centre going over from a scrum on the Ospreys line.
Seals converted to stretch the Wasps lead to five points but the response from the Ospreys was as immediate as it was impressive.
Dirksen made an instant impact off the bench, his first touch seeing him acrobatically claiming Price’s restart on the Wasps 22 to put the Ospreys on the front foot.
Then, Fonotia showed great strength to stay on his feet in the tackle before being driven over the line for the third Ospreys try of the afternoon to bring the score to 22-all. Again, Price found the target, and the visitors led by just two points with eight minutes to play.
With the game in the balance it was end-to-end stuff, Tom O’Flaherty for the Ospreys and then Halai for Wasps, both carrying well and making big advances upfield.
The key moment came with less than 90 seconds on the clock, Adam Beard stealing possession at a Wasps line out on halfway which allowed the Ospreys to counter, a flowing move rounded off by Dirksen diving off at full stretch to score in the corner with time up.
Price completed a 100 per cent afternoon with the boot to finish off a great win for the young Ospreys team, who have enjoyed a memorable Anglo-Welsh campaign with three wins from four.