Belfast Telegraph

Thursday 21 August 2014

Blues ground Ospreys

Cardiff Blues proved too good for Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium.

Cardiff Blues earned a hard fought LV= Cup derby victory over regional rivals Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium.

Fly-half Simon Humberstone kicked 11 points in what was his first regional start while h ooker Kristian Lacey and lock Macauley Cook supplied tries in each half to seal the 21-13 win, despite Blues being without 20 front-line players.

The Ospreys, who lost for the second week running after their reversal at Leicester, were stripped of most of their top players, although scrum-half Rhys Webb came on in the second half after spending six weeks out.

It was the Blues who played much the better rugby and they settled the better, deserving their 11-3 lead with 12 minutes of the first half remaining.

Humberstone put the Blues on the front foot with two penalties on eight and 16 minutes with number eight Robin Copeland giving his side good territory with a couple of typical runs.

Ospreys fly-half Matthew Morgan had a mixed 40 minutes. He made a couple of incisive breaks but could only convert two of his four penalty attempts.

But it was the Blues who deserved the opening try on 24 minutes when hooker Lacey emerged from a pile of bodies after a 20-metre drive over the line from a line-out.

Ospreys, however, had a fortuitous end to the half when skipper Jonathan Spratt picked off Chris Czekaj's pass and raced over from 35 metres.

Morgan's conversion gave the home side a 13-11 lead at the break which must have been a bitter blow for the Blues to take.

At the start of the second half neither side could get any real phase play going with too many kicking exchanges.

Morgan had the chance to take the Ospreys lead to five points but missed his third penalty from five attempts.

The Blues had the best chance of a try in the second half when Richard Smith ran away down the right touchline with Cook in support but the visitors could not make the pressure count.

But in the final 10 minutes the Blues put the match to bed with a converted try for Cook from a dominant scrum followed up two minutes later by a Humberstone drop goal.

And after that the Ospreys just could not get back into the game in the dying minutes to end their LV= Cup challenge.

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