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Glasgow Warriors v Ospreys

Updated: Apr 2, 2021

In the build up to the crucial-must-win Pro14 clash with Glasgow Warriors, the Ospreys were dealt some significant blows. The internationals were still away with Wales, Rhys Webb, Stephen Myler and Kieran Williams were all ruled out with injuries and the only senior loosehead, Nicky Smith, was called in to the Wales squad. This meant that academy graduates Garyn Phillips would start and be deputised on the bench by Rhys Henry who is a tighthead by trade. One crumb of consolation was that Glasgow were also shorn of many of their first team players.

In terrible rain, Glasgow kicked off and when the Ospreys won the first penalty of the game, Luke Price kicked for touch to set up an attacking Ospreys lineout. The Ospreys won the ball and started a maul, Glasgow were able to stop it progressing, but the Ospreys recycled possession, allowing Morgan Morris to drive over the line for the first try of the game 0-5 after 3 minutes. Unfortunately, the conversion was wide.

Glasgow kicked off and their winger did a great job in catching the ball ahead of the Ospreys defenders to initiate a Glasgow attack, but the Ospreys were able to tackle the man into touch for a lineout. However, the ball was overthrown but the Ospreys somehow won back possession and won a penalty when a Glasgow player was penalised for offside. Price, again kicked for touch and another Ospreys lineout but Glasgow challenged the throw and won the ball, only for a knock on to hand the Ospreys a scrum.

The Ospreys attacked down their right wing after G Phillips snaffled the loose ball and broke up field. The Ospreys were playing under penalty advantage when they moved the ball wide before Price kicked across the pitch. Dewi Cross caught the ball and looked to offload to Dan Evans but a Glasgow hand got in the way. The TMO came in and reviewed the footage before the referee awarded the Ospreys a penalty try and showed the Glasgow full back a yellow card. The Ospreys now led 0-12 after 13 minutes. G Phillips went off for a HIA with Henry coming on. This change would become a permanent one.

Glasgow then won a penalty when Ma’afu Fia was adjudged to have not rolled away and the Glasgow 10 slotted his first kick to make the score 3-12 on 21 minutes. Ten minutes later, Glasgow doubled their score with another kicked penalty goal. Glasgow would finish the game with another penalty goal to bring the score to 9-15 at half time.

The Ospreys kicked off the second half and started to build through the phases after Glasgow had kicked the ball back to them. Then came the moment that would turn the game on its head. D Evans was put through a gap but before he could find support, the ball was stripped from behind and bounced up into the arms of the Glasgow winger. Just like last week, the Ospreys conceded a length of the pitch try that was totally against the run of play as the winger raced away under the posts for Glasgow’s first try. The conversion was a formality for the Glasgow 10, and they had taken the lead 16-15 after 43 minutes. Tom Botha came on for Fia.

The next score went the way of the Ospreys after D Evans put a clever through the Glasgow defence. Before the Glasgow winger could clear the ball, D Evans and Owen Watkin tackled him over the try line where he minored the ball to give the Ospreys an attacking 5m scrum. Gareth Evans carried strongly from the base of the scrum to set up a ruck just a yard away from the line, Will Griffiths and Rhys Davies both had goes at the line before G Evans forced his way over for the Ospreys 3rd try. The conversion was good and after 49 minutes the Ospreys now led 16-22.

Glasgow kicked off and regained possession again with another catch by their winger. Glasgow went through several phases before their 10 put a little kick in behind the Ospreys defence and the winger re-gathered the ball for Glasgow’s second try. The conversion was good, and Glasgow led 23-22 after 53 minutes.

The Ospreys then won a penalty that Price kicked for goal, but the ball sailed narrowly wide. The Ospreys then lost another lineout when the ball was not thrown in straight. Glasgow won a penalty at the resulting scrum and kicked for touch. Them Glasgow won another penalty, again kicking for touch, to set up an attacking lineout just metres from the Ospreys try line. The maul was not defended particularly well, and the Glasgow prop burst over from 2 metres out for Glasgow’s third try. The conversion was good, Glasgow led 30-22 after 61 minutes and crucially were now 2 scores ahead. The Ospreys rang the changes with Dewi Lake, Olly Cracknell, Sam Cross and Shaun Venter coming on for Ifan Phillips, Gareth Evans, Lloyd Ashley and Keelan Giles respectively; and Griffiths moving into the second row.

As time ticked into the last ten minutes, the Ospreys were giving it all in the search for a score. From an Ospreys rare successful lineout, Morris made a great break but before support could arrive, a Glasgow player came in from the side and killed the ball. The referee had no choice to award the Ospreys a penalty and show the player a yellow card. Price slotted the kick to bring the Ospreys within losing Bonus Point range.

Glasgow kicked off and did their best to retain possession but a knock on gave the Ospreys a scrum and from there, the Ospreys went through several phases before Glasgow conceded a penalty. Price kicked for touch and the Ospreys would have one final chance to win the game and secure Champions’ Cup rugby next season. Having already lost 5 lineouts, the pressure was intense, and it proved to be too much for Lake when his throw was not straight. From the resulting scrum. Glasgow kicked the ball into touch and the final whistle blew to end the game.

In spite of their best efforts, the Ospreys ultimately fell short and put next season’s European top tier qualification into doubt. However, it was last week’s poor performance against the Dragons that caused more damage to the Ospreys. Special mention must go to debutant Henry who played from the 15th minute on the wrong side of the scrum and showed up well in defence and attack.

The Ospreys must now travel to Leinster to face the best team in the Pro14 and hope that results elsewhere go in their favour.

Final Score – Glasgow 30 Ospreys 25.

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