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Ospreys begin with routine victory

A young Ospreys outfit opened their Guinness Pro12 campaign with a resounding bonus point victory over Benetton Treviso at the Liberty Stadium.

There were tries for prop Nicky Smith, scrum-half Rhys Webb, wing Jeff Hassler, hooker Scott Baldwin and replacement wing Hanno Dirksen, while Dan Biggar provided 17 points with the boot to record a 44-13 victory.

Outclassed Treviso could only manage the one try - a consolation for lock Marco Fuser - and eight points from the boot of fly-half Joe Carlisle.

The Ospreys went into their first game with a relatively inexperienced line-up having seen a clutch of British and Irish Lions leave in the close season - Richard Hibbard, Adam Jones, Ian Evans and Ryan Jones now all plying their trade elsewhere.

The region also rested Alun Wyn Jones with Lloyd Peers named as captain, while they were without the injured Justin Tipuric.

Biggar opened Ospreys' account with penalties on six and 10 minutes before his opposite number Carlisle grabbed one back.

The home side's opening try arrived on 21 minutes when Smith rumbled over after Treviso's had struggled on their own line.

Carlisle again reduced the deficit but Ospreys had begun getting into their stride. Biggar converted a third penalty before on the stoke of half-time Treviso ran out of defenders as the lively Webb went over by the posts and Biggar converted to give Ospreys a 23-6 lead at the break.

It was Webb's last action of the match as he was replaced by Martin Roberts at half-time.

But Treviso's cause was not helped when prop Rupert Harden was yellow-carded five minutes into the second half after standing up in a scrum.

And from the next scrum on Treviso's line Ospreys scored their third try when Hassler forced his way over. Biggar's conversion saw Ospreys lead 30-6.

Ospreys registered the bonus point on 56 minutes when Baldwin crossed. Biggar converted again as the lead increased to 31 points.

But the Italians came back with a try for second row Fuser with Carlisle adding the extras.

Right at the end Salesi Manu received a yellow card before Dirksen went over for the fifth try in the final move of the game. Sam Davies converted.


From Belfast Telegraph