Belfast Telegraph

Home Sport Rugby

Ospreys too strong for Blues

Ospreys boosted their chances of qualifying for the semi-finals of the LV= Cup with a comfortable 29-7 victory over an inexperienced Cardiff Blues line-up.

Cardiff forged ahead through centre Gavin Evans' early try but the Ospreys quickly hit back as Matthew Morgan kicked four penalties in the first half, with a penalty try and a Morgan Allen touchdown helping them into a healthy half-time lead.

Hanno Dirksen completed the scoring for the Ospreys with a try late on.

Evans rounded off a neat move by hurling himself over the line to give his team a second-minute lead, 18-year-old Joe Griffin converting from wide out.

It was a short-lived advantage. Two penalties by Ospreys' talented fly-half Morgan were followed by a controversial penalty try to put the visitors ahead midway through the first half.

A brilliant offload by centre Gareth Owen allowed Morgan to break and his kick ahead forced Blues full-back Dan Fish to carry the ball over his own line. When the home side collapsed the resultant five-metre scrum, English international referee Dave Pearson dispensed with the usual warning and ran straight to the posts.

Morgan converted and added another penalty before blood replacement Allen marked his Ospreys debut with a dart from the back of a scrum to score.

Wing Kristian Phillips was denied by the television match official as the Ospreys' domination continued, but Morgan's fourth penalty put them comfortably ahead at the break.

The Blues were given an early boost on the resumption when former Wales lock Ian Evans was sin-binned and prop Cai Griffiths soon followed him to the touchline, but the Ospreys' six-man scrum were still able to push the home eight off the ball and the visitors survived their penalty period without conceding.

As the inevitable flood of replacements came on the game lost its shape, but one newcomer, former Blues fly-half Dai Flanagan, produced a superb miss-pass to send American wing Dirksen over in the corner to complete the scoring.


From Belfast Telegraph