Yet Another Thriller Against The Scarlets

Last season two of the three fixtures that the Young Ospreys under 20"€™s played against the Scarlets ended with last minute victories for either side

Last season two of the three fixtures that the Young Ospreys under 20’s played against the Scarlets ended with last minute victories for either side. Last nights game again went right to the close with a late interception try by makeshift wing Nicky Roberts killing off a Scarlets revival and a win for the Young Ospreys by 34 points to 25. 

It was a different story for the first ten minutes as the Scarlets dominated proceedings; however, resolute defence by the Young Ospreys ensured that it was only a penalty by outside half Rhys Priestland that separated the teams. Then came a killer blow to the Scarlets as they were hit by the type of counter attack that so much represents their approach to the game. Full back Leigh Bevan ran a kick back at the opposition from inside his own half, he then switched play with Roberts before intelligently chip kicking ahead. He chased and caught the kick before eventually being dragged down by the Scarlet defence, where centre Alex Wilkins was on hand to take the ball from the breakdown and race in to score under the posts, outside half Jonathon Spratt added the conversion. The Ospreys wasted no time in getting back into their oppositions twenty two and from a 5 metre lineout they drove over for No 8 Andrew Gwynne to claim a try. Gwynne formed part of a very impressive back row alongside Rory Gallagher and Luke Jones, it was their physical presence at the breakdown that regularly stopped the Scarlets crossing the gain and also resulted in a number of turnovers. Wing James Pike was then adjudged to have lost the ball going over the try line but the continued pressure by the Ospreys saw Spratt add another two penalties for 18 points to 3 lead.

Back came the Scarlets and after a series of good interplay between forwards and backs, hooker Ken Owens burst into the attacking line and crashed over for a try under the posts which Priestland converted. Again the response from the Young Ospreys was to create a 50 metre penalty kick for Spratt who duly obliged for a lead of 21 points to 10 at half time. 

As tough and uncompromising as they were at the breakdown the Young Ospreys were caught out through a failure to drift defend effectively and the Scarlets grabbed a brace of tries through full back Martin Thomas and centre Johann Taffetsauffer. Priestland added a penalty and conversion but it wasn’t enough to see off the Roberts try and a conversion and penalty by Spratt. 

Even though the Young Ospreys put an end to the Scarlets unbeaten record they still lie second to them in the league standings as result of one less bonus point. With two games to play away from home they still need to continue their winning ways if they are going to get through to the Reebok Final in April.