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Ospreys fourth after crushing win


Rhys Webb scored in the Ospreys' crushing defeat of Zebre

Rhys Webb scored in the Ospreys' crushing defeat of Zebre

Rhys Webb scored in the Ospreys' crushing defeat of Zebre

Number eight Dan Baker crossed for two tries as the Ospreys cruised back into the Guinness PRO12 top four with a 53-22 bonus-point victory over bottom team Zebre at the Liberty Stadium.

In all Ospreys scored seven tries through Baker (two), Josh Matavesi, Scott Baldwin, Rhys Webb, a penalty try and Hanno Dirksen, while Sam Davies contributed 16 points with the boot.

The Zebre tries came from Dion Berryman, Giulio Toniolatti and Alberto Chillon, with Gonzalo Garcia supplying a penalty and Mirco Bergamasco kicking two conversions.

The Ospreys' 12th victory leaves the region in fourth place, four points ahead of Leinster in fifth.

Ospreys had named a powerful bench including Wales quartet Alun Wyn Jones, Dan Lydiate, Dan Biggar and Webb, while flanker Justin Tipuric was named captain.

Zebre included seven internationals, including lock and skipper Marco Bortolami and fly-half Luciano Orquera.

Ospreys cruised into a 14-0 lead after only eight minutes and it looked like being one-way traffic.

First a break from Davies helped to put Baker over after only three minutes with Davies adding the extras.

And Baker turned provider from a five-metre scrum as centre Matavesi crossed with Davies kicking his second conversion.

Zebre did get on the scoreboard with a long-range penalty from Garcia but Ospreys were able to extend their lead to 20-3 with two more penalties for Davies on 17 and 23 minutes.

Zebre did look like getting on the scoreboard after a break from Brendon Leonard, who will be joining Ospreys next season, but the Italians butchered a four-on -two attacking chance.

But the Ospreys made no mistake with their third try with Baldwin going in at the left corner via Tyler Ardron's pass outside. Davies converted.

Zebre had the final say of the first 40 minutes, however, when Berryman was put over in the right corner following a scrum. Orquera missed with the conversion as Ospreys led 27-8 at the break.

After a couple of near scores Ospreys' bonus try finally came when Baker broke free from 25 metres out to crash over under the posts. Davies added the conversion as Ospreys led 34-8 on 53 minutes.

Webb entered the fray and scored Wales' fifth try, although the referee referred the decision to the TV match official even though he was standing two metres away from where the scrum-half put the ball down. Davies added the extras.

Zebre claimed a second try on 69 minutes when Toniolatti intercepted and ran in from 80 metres out for Bergamasco to add the conversion.

But that was cancelled out when Ospreys were awarded a penalty try after Webb was impeded in the act of scoring which saw Michele Visentin sent to the sin bin. Biggar added the conversion as Ospreys led 48-15.

Four minutes later Dirksen crossed for try number seven to take Ospreys past 50 points, before Chillon registered Zebre's third try just before the end.