Ospreys Scarlets

We’ve got the in laws over for Boxing Day

At the Ospreys, we’ve got the in laws over for Boxing Day. That’s right, the Scarlets - our Welsh Rugby family from over the bridge. But like all families at Christmas, things can get a bit tasty by late afternoon. Here’s Paul Williams’ guide to Boxing Day with the in-laws.


Most likely to hit something on the floor

Approximately two minutes into any Boxing Day party, someone will hit something all over the floor. Be it red wine, or the 15th bottle of Baileys that you’ve opened during the last seven days, something will be smacked all over the deck. In this instance, the person most likely to hit something onto the floor is Morgan Morris, or Vaea Fifita. Both are able to bounce a defender like few others. Morris currently looks very ‘Welsh squady’. He’s making more meters than Helix Rulers and is dominating the gainline in a manner in which very few Welsh number eights are. If Faletau is unfit for Wales, Morris surely deserves his chance.


Most likely to cheat whilst playing games

A typical Boxing Day has Monopoly or Twister, but our Boxing Day has a selection of different games – scrums, lineouts and in particular lineout mauls. With all of these games someone will try and bend, if not break the laws – usually the props. But after the win in Montpellier, you’d have to say that the Ospreys are favorites to win these games, with little need to flex the law book. The Ospreys’ pack were fantastic in Montpellier. Tomas Francis and Nicky Smith played particularly well, so too did Scott Baldwin - who is rapidly becoming the Stephen Myler of the pack. Plus, as we saw in France, the Ospreys’ lineout maul is currently more difficult to stop than Santa on a crash ball.


Most likely to clean up the mess on the floor

Most of the Christmas period is spent with detritus on the floor. Be it wrapping paper, annoying sellotape stuck to the carpet, or a melted ‘toffee penny’ that has been spot-welded to the rug, most people’s floors are like a Christmas minefield. On Boxing Day, the Swansea.com stadium will be no different, except it’ll be breakdowns littering the floor, not unnecessarily chewy sweets. And the most likely to clean up the mess, will be Jac Morgan. He’s currently playing the best rugby of his short career and dominating in every game. But his abilities don’t stop at cleaning up on the deck. Whilst he was initially known for his ability to jackal, his carrying has now also reached test level. Even in a disappointing Autumn Campaign for Wales, his carrying was some of the finest that we’ve seen from a Welsh flanker in a long time.


Most likely to break something

Whether you got a new remote-controlled car or a golf club for Christmas, someone is bound to pick it up on Boxing Day, have a quick go, and break the damn thing. But, in our Boxing Day celebration we’re actively looking for someone to break something - the line. With Joe Hawkins, Sam Costelow, Keelan Giles, Luke Morgan, Keiran Williams, Jonny McNichol and Ryan Conbeer, line breaks are almost guaranteed. Especially with Joe Hawkins. He’s a ten in a 12’s body, which is a coach’s dream. If he doesn’t flick it wide, he has the ability to go around, or through the defender.


Most likely to start an argument

Any of the scrum-halves. All scrum-halves talk too much, it’s just how they’re born and it’s usually the scrum-half that starts the issues. Much like a nativity shepherd, they like to stand at the back of a herd of livestock and bark instructions until their flock move in the direction they want. And this Boxing Day will be no different. Rhys Webb, in particular, is playing some of the best rugby of his career. He’s still a genuine line break threat from the base of rucks and mauls, and his box kicking is as good as ever - as is his talking to the referee. At 34, Webb has become the fulcrum of the team.


Most likely to finish the argument

There is only one answer to this question, Alun-Wyn Jones. Like most Boxing Day celebrations that get out of hand, it can result in a friendly throat grab. Sione Kalamafoni, Adam Beard, Sam Lousi and Jon Davies all execute a good grab of the opposition’s tonsils, but none match Alun-Wyn Jones. AWJ could choke the Suez Canal, with one hand. Rhys Davies and Adam Beard may well level-up and become the primary throat grabbers in the Ospreys’ squad. But for the time being, AWJ still has that title firmly in his grasp.


Most likely to get merry

The supporters. Win or lose, it’s one of the best fixtures of the season. For many rugby fans in South Wales, Boxing Day is Christmas Day. And the Ospreys v Scarlets Boxing Day fixture has provided some of the finest moments in regional rugby history. It’s a fantastic opportunity to go and watch rugby with your family and friends. And I for one, can’t wait for kick off.


Merry Christmas everyone.