Planet Rugby

Ospreys edge Connacht to go top

30th September 2011 21:32

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Barry Davies ospreys 20101208

Try for Ospreys: Barry Davies

Ospreys managed to hold on for a 26-21 RaboDirect PRO12 win over Connacht at Liberty Stadium on Friday.

The Welsh region went top of the table as they stretched their winning run to five games against a Connacht side that refused to give in.

Scott Johnson's side got off to a superb start when full-back Barry Davies crossed the Connacht line with only six minutes on the clock. Dan Biggar converted from the touchline.

Ospreys continued to look dangerous on turnover ball, but it was the visitors who were next on the scoreboard through Gavin Duffy following a period of sustained pressure on the home side's line.

Niall O'Connor added the extras to bring the scores level. A Biggar penalty restored the Ospreys' advantage, and that was increased further when Hanno Dirksen scored a try under the posts on 33 minutes. Biggar kicked the simple conversion.

With minutes left in the first half, O'Connor reduced the arrears by three points after referee Stephano Penne penalised Ospreys for going in at the side at the breakdown.

Neither side were able to trouble the scorers in the third quarter - during which time Ospreys lock Ian Gough was sin-binned.

Biggar provided the next points with his second penalty of the night, but shortly afterwards Duffy gathered in a chip kick ahead to dot down in the in-goal area for his second try.

O'Connor missed the conversion and the Ospreys looked to have the points in the bag once Biggar knocked over a 76th-minute penalty.

O'Connor's late drop goal brought Connacht back within range, though, as the game came to a frenetic finish.

With four minutes to go, Biggar landed another penalty to seal a fifth straight victory, however Connacht had the final say when O'Connor landed a kick of his own right at the death to ensure the Irish outfit deservedly left the Liberty Stadium with a losing bonus point.

The scorers:

For Ospreys:
Tries: Davies, Dirkson
Cons: Biggar 2
Pens: Biggar 4

For Connacht:
Tries: Duffy 2
Con: O'Connor
Pens: O'Connor 2
Drop: O'Connor

Ospreys: 15 Barry Davies, 14 Richard Fussell, 13 Tom Isaacs, 12 Andrew Bishop, 11 Hanno Dirksen, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Jonathan Thomas, 7 Justin Tipuric (C), 6 Tom Smith, 5 Ian Evans, 4 Ian Gough, 3 Aaron Jarvis, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Duncan Jones.
Replacements: 16 Mefin Davies, 17 Cai Griffiths, 18 Joe Rees, 19 James King, 20 Joe Bearman, 21 Matthew Morgan, 22 Sonny Parker, 23 Kristian Phillips.

Connacht:15 Gavin Duffy (C), 14 Brian Tuohy, 13 Eoin Griffin, 12 Henry Fa'afili, 11 Tiernan O'Halloran, 10 Niall O'Connor, 9 Frank Murphy, 8 John Muldoon, 7 Johnny O'Connor, 6 TJ Anderson, 5 Mike McCarthy, 4 Michael Swift, 3 Dylan Rogers, 2 Ethienne Reynecke, 1 Brett Wilkinson.
Replacements: 16 Adrian Flavin, 17 Ronan Loughney, 18 Stewart Maguire, 19 Dave Gannon, 20 Ray Ofisa, 21 Paul O'Donohoe, 22 Matthew Jarvis, 23 James Loxton.

Referee: Stefano Penne
Assistant Referees: James Jones, Wayne Davies

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