The Ospreys extended their unbeaten run in the Pro12 to seven matches with a hard-earned 26-11 victory over Connacht.
The Ospreys extended their unbeaten run in the Pro12 to seven matches with a hard-earned 26-11 victory over Connacht in Swansea.
It wasn’t a particularly pretty game in South Wales, but Ospreys cemented their place at the top of the tree with a hard fought win.
Pat Lam’s side put up a good fight, but left it too late to mount a comeback in the second half. In a game between two of the early pace-setters, it was an understandably tight start to the game, with Ospreys scoring the only points after 20 minutes through the boot of Sam Davies.
The hosts boasted an average of over 30 points a game before kickoff, but there was no sign that they would get near that in the first period, as they attempted to recover from their European defeat to Northampton last week.
Connacht have impressed so far this season, but squandered several half chances through poor decision making.
Jack Carty often used his boot when keeping the ball in hand would have been the better option.
Despite that, the Irish side did pull themselves level on the edge of half time, with Craig Ronaldson nailing his first kick from his second attempt as the two sides went in all square.
A telling statistic from the first half was the fact that Connacht had yet to venture into the opposition 22, but that mattered little as Ronaldson booted his side into the lead.
Going behind seemed to shake the Welsh side into life. Dan Evans led the charge, breaking the line brilliantly before playing a neat inside ball to Jeff Hassler, who had to go the long way round the opposition defence before sliding over the line.
They killed off the visitors soon after. Ashley Beck’s cute inside ball for Martin Roberts set the scrum half on his way to a try which confirmed the victory.
Eoin McKeon did manage a consolation score for Connacht with a well worked score off the back of a maul.
Tries: Hassler, Roberts
Cons: Davies 2
Pens: Davies 4
Yellow Card: Collier
Pens: Donaldson 2
Ospreys: 15 Dan Evans, 14 Jeff Hassler, 13 Andrew Bishop, 12 Josh Matavesi, 11 Tom Grabham, 10 Sam Davies, 9 Martin Roberts, 8 Ieuan Jones, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Sam Lewis, 5 Rynier Bernardo, 4 Lloyd Peers (c), 3 Aaron Jarvis, 2 Sam Parry, 1 Duncan Jones
Replacements: 16 Scott Otten, 17 Marc, Thomas, 18 Dmitri Arhip, 19 Rory Thornton, 20 Jordan Collier, 21 Tom Habberfield, 22 Ashley Beck, 23 Aisea Natoga
Connacht: 15 Shane Layden, 14 Niyi Adeolokun, 13 Bundee Aki, 12 Craig Ronaldson, 11 Matt Healy, 10 Jack Carty, 9 Kieran Marmion, 8 George Naoupu, 7 Eoin McKeon, 6 John Muldoon (c), 5 Quinn Roux, 4 Mick Kearney, 3 Rodney Ah You, 2 Jason Harris-Wright, 1 Denis Buckley
Replacements: 16 Dave Heffernan, 17 Jamie Dever, 18 JP Cooney, 19 Andrew Browne, 20 Willie Faloon, 21 Ian Porter, 22 Dave McSharry, 23 Darragh Leader
Referee: John Lacey
Assistant Referees: Ben Whitehouse, Martyn Lewis
TMO: Paul Adams