Cardiff Blues slumped to their fifth consecutive defeat in all competitions on Saturday, going down 33-12 at home to the Ospreys.
Cardiff Blues slumped to their fifth consecutive defeat in all competitions on Saturday, going down 33-12 at home to the Ospreys in the Pro12.
The hosts were leading 12-6 at half time but conceded four unanswered tries in the second period to essentially end their play-off hopes.
The result see the Ospreys consolidate second place in the Pro12 table.
Leigh Halfpenny kicked four first half penalties to Dan Biggar's two as the hosts opened up a six-point advantage at the break.
But it was the Ospreys who dominated the second half. Biggar levelled the scores with two more three-pointers before converted tries by Alun-Wyn Jones, Adam Jones and Tom Smith sealed a superb win.
This was very much Cardiff's last chance saloon in their efforts to qualify for the top-four. Already 11 points adrift with three games to go, a defeat would end their already slim chances of being in the end of season play-offs.
But with the sharp-shooting Halfpenny in their side, they could at least give themselves a glimmer of hope.
Indeed, the full-back treated the crowd to an array of exceptional long-range kicking in the first half, and the Wales' international opened his account after just two minutes.
However, the visitors looked more dangerous with ball in hand. After the Blues' Gavin Evans had seen yellow for a deliberate knock-on, Biggar levelled matters.
Halfpenny regained Cardiff's advantage with a second three-pointer before the Ospreys' stand-off converted one of his own.
Ill-discipline continued to be a problem for the side sitting in the play-offs and successive penalties saw the hosts take a 12-6 half-time lead.
It was the visitors who started to exert consistent pressure in the second half. Ceri Sweeney became the second Blues' player to be sent to the sin-bin for a deliberate knock-on and Biggar converted the resultant penalty.
The fly-half then equalised before converting Wyn Jones' try.
And their dominance was rewarded when Jones and Smith went over late on.
For Cardiff Blues:
Pens: Halfpenny 4
Tries: AW Jones, AR Jones, Smith
Cons: Biggar 3
Pens: Biggar 4
Yellow cards: Evans (Cardiff – 9th min); Sweeney ( Cardiff – 53rd min)
Cardiff Blues: 15 Leigh Halfpenny, 14 Alex Cuthbert, 13 Gavin Evans, 12 Dafydd Hewitt, 11 Harry Robinson, 10 Ceri Sweeney, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Luke Hamilton, 7 Martyn Williams, 6 Michael Paterson, 5 James Down, 4 Bradley Davies (c), 3 Sam Hobbs, 2 Marc Breeze, 1 John Yapp.
Replacements: 16 Kristian Dacey, 17 Nathan Trevett, 18 Ryan Harford, 19 Josh Navidi, 20 Maama Molitika, 21 Richie Rees, 22 Dan Parks, 23 Casey Laulala.
Ospreys: 15 Richard Fussell, 14 Hanno Dirksen, 13 Tom Isaacs, 12 Andrew Bishop, 11 Shane Williams, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Kahn Fotuali'i, 8 Joe Bearman, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Ryan Jones, 5 Ian Evans, 4 Alun Wyn Jones (c), 3 Adam Jones, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Scott Baldwin, 17 Ryan Bevington, 18 Aaron Jarvis, 19 James King, 20 Tom Smith, 21 Rhys Webb, 22 Matthew Morgan, 23 Sonny Parker.
Venue: Cardiff City Stadium
Referee: George Clancy