The Young Ospreys under 18's lost their first game of the season against a very effective Blues team at St Helens last night (Wednesday 27th).
Conditions at St Helens were very difficult as there was an extremely strong wind blowing down the field from the Mumbles end, accompanied by some heavy rain showers. The Young Ospreys had advantage of the strong breeze and sensibly choose to use a kicking game in order to play in their opponents half. Unfortunately a couple of the kicks were misjudged and went over the dead ball line; this provided the superior Blues scrum an opportunity to relieve pressure. Also when they kicked to touch the superior Blues lineout won the ball and relieved pressure by keeping it tight and driving away from the danger zone.
However, it was the Young Ospreys who got the first score; wing Liam Osowicz counter attacked a poor clerance kick and fed the ball to centre Ashley Beck. Beck's well timed pass gave fellow centre Kristian Phillips the opportunity to show his pace and he sped over for a try. The next try of the game came from a typical lineout drive by the Blues and was claimed by flanker Jake Thomas. Outside half Joe Deacon had kicked a penalty earlier for the Blues and they had an 8 points to 5 half time lead.
The second half proved to be just as difficult as the first and with wind advantage it always seemed that the Blues were in control of the game. However, the Blues were finding it difficult against a resolute defence before the Young Ospreys decided to give it to them on a plate when they foolishly passed on bad ball behind their own line. Centre Luke Fear probably scored the easiest try of his career as he merely dived on the ball which was laid out neatly for him in the goal area; Deacon added the conversion for a 15 points to 5 lead. The Young Ospreys immediately hit back when Phillips was given another chance to show his pace by speeding over for a try which he also converted.
This period of control by the Young Ospreys didn't last for long and two further penalties by Deacon gave a final score of 21 points to 12 in favour of the Blues; therefore the Young Ospreys failed to claim a bonus point.
The team will hope to avenge this defeat when they play the Scarlets at St Helens on Wednesday 18th October, 7.15 kick off.