Bonus-point win for Ospreys

Date published: December 6 2015

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Ospreys picked up a much-needed 39-22 victory over Zebre at Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi, running in five tries in the PRO12 clash on Sunday.

Kayle van Zyl's try gave the Italian outfit a 7-0 advantage, but the Welsh region scored 22 unanswered points to take control of proceedings.

Jeff Hassler, Eli Walker and Justin Tipuric all went over, while Sam Davies added two conversions and a penalty.

Marcello Violi's touchdown and Carlo Canna's three-pointer kept the hosts in contention, but further scores from Tipuric and Jonathan Spratt sealed the victory for the visitors.

Van Zyl crossed late on for Zebre but it proved to be just a consolation effort.

Despite a shambolic 61-13 opening round defeat to Cardiff Blues, the Italian side have generally shown an ability to compete this season. Two victories have been the reward for their endeavour and they put the Ospreys under duress early on here.

Steve Tandy's men were pressing for the opening score but van Zyl managed to intercept a loose pass and run the length of the field to touch down.

Unperturbed, the Liberty Stadium-based outfit hit back when Hassler scampered over out wide. From a difficult angle, Davies matched Violi's accuracy from the tee – who had kicked an earlier conversion – to restore parity.

The visitors' fly-half added a penalty before the Welsh region stamped their authority on the encounter by scoring twice in quick succession. Walker crossed the whitewash first and Tipuric then showed outstanding pace to go over.

That secured a seemingly comfortable buffer but a Violi try and Canna three-pointer either side of the interval reduced the deficit to seven.

Davies' effort off the tee kept the opposition at arm's length before Tipuric broke clear, side-stepped the final defender and touched down. It was the moment which ended the chance of a Zebre comeback and, when Spratt scored the Ospreys' fifth try, the hosts were 24 points in arrears.

Van Zyl scored his second touchdown for Zebre after 74 minutes, but the away team were deserved winners on the day.

The scorers:

For Zebre:
Tries: Van Zyl 2, Violi
Con: Violi, Padovani
Pen: Canna

For Ospreys:
Tries: Hassler, Walker, Tipuric 2, Spratt
Con: Davies 4
Pen: Davies 2

Zebre: 15 Mils Muliaina, 14 Dion Berryman, 13 Tommaso Boni, 12 Gonzalo Garcia, 11 Kayle Van Zyl, 10 Carlo Canna, 9 Marcello Violi, 8 Paul Derbyshire, 7 Johan Meyer, 6 Jacopo Sarto, 5 George Biagi (c), 4 Valerio Bernabò, 3 Dario Chistolini, 2 Andrea Manici, 1 Andrea Lovotti.
Replacements: 16 Oliviero Fabiani, 17 Andrea De Marchi, 18 Guillermo Roan, 19 Marco Bortolami, 20 Federico Ruzza, 21 Guglielmo Palazzani, 22 Giulio Bisegni, 23 Edoardo Padovani.

Ospreys: Dan Evans, 14 Jeff Hassler, 13 Jonathan Spratt, 12 Josh Matavesi, 11 Eli Walker, 10 Sam Davies, 9 Tom Habberfield, 8 James King, 7 Justin Tipuric (c), 6 Olly Cracknell, 5 Tyler Ardron, 4 Lloyd Ashley, 3 Dmitri Arhip, 2 Sam Parry, 1 Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Scott Otten, 17 Nicky Smith, 18 Ma'afu Fia, 19 Alun Wyn Jones, 20 Rory Thornton 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Dan Biggar, 23 Hanno Dirksen.

Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Elia Rizzo (Italy), Luca Trentin (Italy)
TMO: Stefano Penne (Italy)

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