Ospreys see off Cardiff

Date published: January 30 2011

Ospreys ran out comfortable 29-7 victors over Cardiff Blues to boost their hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals of the LV= Cup.

Ospreys gave their hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals of the LV= Cup a shot in the arm as they ran out comfortable 29-7 victors over an inexperienced Cardiff Blues outfit.

Cardiff actually took the lead early on through a try from centre Gavin Evans, but the Ospreys hit back with scores from Morgan Allen, Hanno Dirksen and a penalty try as Matthew Morgan kicked four penalties and a conversion.

Although the Ospreys were also without their international stars, they were still able to field a line-up that boasted a total of 146 international caps in comparison to Cardiff, who had just the one earned by Evans four years ago.

It was Evans who was on hand in the second minute to complete a neat move with a diving finish to put the hosts ahead, 18-year-old Joe Griffin added the conversion from wide out.

But the Ospreys quickly hit back, two penalties by talented fly-half Morgan were followed by a controversial penalty try to put the visitors ahead midway through the first half.

A fine offload by Gareth Owen allowed Morgan to break and his kick ahead forced Blues full-back Dan Fish to carry the ball over his own line.

When the home side collapsed the resultant five-metre scrum, English international referee Dave Pearson did not wait to issue a warning but simply ran straight to the posts to award the score.

Morgan converted and booted another penalty before blood replacement Allen darted from the back of a scrum to mark his Ospreys debut with an opportunist try.

Winger Kristian Phillips saw a try chalked off by the television match official as the Ospreys continued to dominate, but Morgan's fourth penalty gave them a substantial cushion at the break.

The Blues were given an early boost on the resumption when former Wales lock Ian Evans was sin-binned and prop Cai Griffiths soon followed him to the touchline, but the Ospreys' six-man scrum were still able to push the home eight off the ball and the visitors survived their penalty period without conceding.

As the inevitable flood of replacements came on the game lost its shape, but one newcomer, former Blues fly-half Dai Flanagan, produced a superb miss-pass to send American wing Dirksen over in the corner to complete the scoring 11 minutes from time.