Leinster win Ospreys shootout

Date published: November 30 2014

Leinster had their hopes of making the top four playoffs boosted after dispatching the visiting Ospreys 18-12 in the Pro12.

Leinster had their hopes of making the top four playoffs boosted after dispatching the visiting Ospreys 18-12 in the Pro12.

The Ospreys are one of the few teams that know how to win at the RDS and enjoyed the better of the first half.

The sides shared three penalties a piece to leave the scores tied up at 9-9 at the end of the opening 40 minutes. Madigan made way at half time and Jimmy Gopperth took over kicking privileges.

Gopperth scored his first kick of the match on 52 minutes, only to have the scores levelled yet again by the boot of Sam Davies. Gopperth put the game to bed in the last ten, converting two more penalties and completing a hard fought Leinster win.

Conditions were slippery turning this match into a forwards game. The hosts commandingly edged out their youthful opponents as the game ticked on, especially when it came to the scrum.

The Ospreys took the lead for the first and last time when Davies converted the first penalty of the match.

That was before Madigan punished the ill-disciplined visitors, scoring three of the seven penalties the Ospreys conceded in the first half.

The momentum of the game then shifted back in favour of the Ospreys as Davies’ boot put the Welsh side back on level terms to close the half at 9-9.

Aisea Natonga had a try ruled out early in the second half for a forward pass only to have Leinster reclaim the lead on 52 minutes through the boot of Jimmy Gopperth.

Leinster were soon penalised again and Sam Davies brought the two sides level once more.

Gopperth dealt the final two blows to a gutsy Ospreys side in the final ten minutes of the match – slotting a kick on 72 minutes and one seven minutes later to close the scoring at 18-12.

The scorers:

For Leinster:
Pens: Madigan 3, Gopperth 3

For Ospreys:
Pens: Davies 4

Leinster: 15 Zane Kirchner, 14 Darragh Fanning, 13 Fergus McFadden, 12 Ian Madigan, 11 Dave Kearney, 10 Jimmy Gopperth, 9 Eoin Reddan (c), 8 Jack Conan, 7 Jordi Murphy, 6 Dominic Ryan, 5 Kane Douglas, 4 Mike McCarthy, 3 Tadhg Furlong, 2 Bryan Byrne, 1 Michael Bent.
Replacements: 16 James Tracy, 17 Peter Dooley, 18 Jamie Hagan, 19 Tom Denton, 20 Rhys Ruddock, 21 Isaac Boss, 22 Noel Reid

Ospreys: 15 Dan Evans, 14 Aisea Natoga, 13 Andrew Bishop, 12 Hanno Dirksen, 11 Tom Grabham, 10 Sam Davies, 9 Martin Roberts, 8 Dan Baker, 7 Sam Lewis, 6 Joe Bearman, 5 Tyler Ardron, 4 Lloyd Peers (c), 3 Dmitri Arhip, 2 Sam Parry, 1 Marc Thomas.
Replacements: 16 Scott Otten, 17 Gareth Thomas, 18 Cai Griffiths, 19 Rynier Bernardo, 20 Ieuan Jones, 21 Tom Habberfield, 22 Josh Matavesi, 23 Dafydd Howells.

Referee: Marius Mitrea (Italy)
Assistant referees: Mark Patton (Ireland), Stuart Gaffikin (Ireland)
Television match official: Alan Rogan (Ireland)
Assessor: Michael Carroll (Ireland)