.

Ospreys 19-9 Scarlets

Ospreys second in Pro12 table

 

The Ospreys climbed up to second in the Guinness PRO12 table at the halfway point of the season after a hard fought derby win at the Liberty Stadium.

  • The Ospreys claimed their eighth win in 11 PRO12 games this season to go into second place, just two points behind leaders Munster
  • Dan Biggar kicked 14 points to become the first player to break the 2,000 point barrier in regional rugby while the Ospreys were also awarded a penalty try
  • The largest Ospreys' crowd at the Liberty since Boxing Day 2008 watched the region claim derby victory with their try line unbreached in 216 minutes
  • Trailing 9-6 at the break the Ospreys dominated the second half to register a sixth consecutive win in all competitions, and an eighth Liberty Stadium victory on the bounce.

In a keenly contested affair, Dan Biggar kicked 14 points, to go with a penalty try, his final three-pointer seeing him become the first player to score 2000 points in regional rugby.

After a typical, frenetic, derby opening, it was the Ospreys who registered the first points of the afternoon via Biggar’s boot in the 15th minute, Rob Evans penalised at the scrum.

It was all-square almost immediately though, Nicky Smith not rolling away and Patchell with a simple kick to level it.

With nothing to separate the two sides, Rob Evans was shown yellow in the 23rd minute for a high tackle on namesake Dan as he looked to find a way over halfway.

The Ospreys looked to take immediate advantage, the pack marching their opposition back from the lineout, and it took the TMO to spot some incredible defensive work from the visitors, Will Boyde’s hand preventing Alun Wyn Jones from grounding the ball.

Trying to keep the pressure on, the Ospreys won a penalty at the resulting scrum and opted to pack down. This time, they got the ball out and went for the line, but the skipper was penalised for not releasing after he was brought down a couple of metres out, Boyde again in the thick of things. 

A good kick-chase by Ashley Beck, Brendon Leonard and Josh Matavesi saw the Ospreys winning a penalty after Liam Williams found himself isolated, but Biggar was unable to find the target from the left, putting the ball across the face of the posts and wide.

Patchell made no mistake at the other end after Beck was penalised on the floor, giving the Scarlets the lead as they were restored to 15 with Rob Evans returning to the action.

A penalty againat Ma’afu Fia at the scrum then allowed Patchell to stretch the Scarlets advantage to six, before Biggar slotted one over from 45m out with the final kick off the opening 40.

OSPREYS 6 SCARLETS 9

The first 10 minutes following the restart were surprisingly flat as the two teams probed and pushed, trying each other out without over committing, but it burst into life when Alun Wyn stole possession at a Scarlets lineout inside the Ospreys 22, allowing them to launch a counter attack, releasing Keelan Giles up the right.

With momentum in their favour the Ospreys eventually won a penalty on the other side, went to the corner, and, while their pack seemed destined for the line anyway, referee Andrew Brace ran under the posts to signal a penalty try.

Biggar added the extras, and there was a further setback for the Scarlets, the impressive Boyde shown a yellow card for his part in a dust-up behind the line.

As the Ospreys looked to turn the screw, a high tackle then allowed Biggar to stretch the lead to seven points on the hour.

Although the Ospreys were comfortably on top they were unable to take advantage of that numerical advantage, but the Scarlets were to finish the game short on numbers as Jonathan Evans went to the bin in the 70th minute after another rolling maul was halted illegally as it rumbled ominously towards the line.

With the clock ticking down, Biggar opted to go for the sticks at the next penalty and made no mistake, to take the Ospreys 10 clear with eight on the clock, a landmark moment for the outside half.

Try as they might there was no way back for the Scarlets as the Ospreys played out the closing minutes with ease, their opponents never looking like breaching a defence that has now gone 216 minutes without conceding a try.

 

 

More from Local