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Rainbow Cup - Scarlets v Ospreys

After a good opening round win against Cardiff Rugby, the Ospreys made the short trip across the Loughor Bridge to face local rivals the Scarlets in Round 2 of the Rainbow Cup.

In terrible conditions, the Ospreys made a good start and opened the scoring with a Luke Price penalty inside four minutes.

With the Ospreys have a slight advantage at scrum time, they found gaining territory a tough ask as the Scarlets’ kicking game was more precise and they were rewarded on 17 minutes with a penalty goal that hit the post but was still good to bring the score to 3-3.

The resulting kick off from Price rolled dead so the teams came back for a scrum on the half-way line where the Ospreys pack went too early at the engage phase, giving the Scarlets a free kick. Their No8 took a quick tap, and the Scarlets went through several phases before their centre broke the Ospreys defence and dived over the line for a try. However, the referee called upon the TMO and the try was chalked off for a knock on in the act of scoring. The Ospreys won a penalty at the scrum and Price cleared to touch where the Ospreys set up a maul. This did not make a lot of headway, so Matthew Aubrey was forced to try and box kick, but his kick was charged down. The ball rolled into the Ospreys 22 and Price raced back to dive on the ball. As he was on the floor, a Scarlets player came diving on to him and on replay the TMO and referee agreed that the challenge was worthy of a yellow card putting the Scarlets down to 14 for ten minutes.

The Scarlets controlled the ball and the clock during the yellow card period and even went ahead when an Ospreys knock on was picked up in an offside position, giving the Scarlets another shot at goal which was successful and on 30 minutes the score was 6-3.

The Scarlets would then add another penalty goal to take a 6-point lead at 9-3 and things got even worse for the Ospreys just before half time, when the Scarlets prop scored a try after a fine line break. The try was converted and at half time the score was 16-3.

The second half was much like the first with the Ospreys struggling to get a foothold in the game and when their lineout started to go awry, the chance to get back in the game seem to evaporate. The teams exchanged penalties to make the score 19-6.

The Scarlets added a late penalty to put the gloss on a fine win on a very disappointing night for the Ospreys. The Ospreys need to back to the drawing board and find the consistency that was so badly missed in this game as they prepare to face the Dragons next Sunday.

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