Planet Rugby

Ospreys smash Scarlets

26th December 2012 19:53

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dan biggar

Dan Biggar: 14 points for Ospreys

The Ospreys cruised to a comprehensive 32-3 Pro12 victory over Scarlets at the Liberty Stadium on Wednesday.

In a first half completely dominated by the hosts, they went into the break 19-3 ahead thanks to a penalty try and the excellent kicking of half-backs Dan Biggar and Kahn Fotuali'i.

Aled Thomas' penalty in the opening period was as good as it got for Simon Easterby's men as tries from James King and Fotuali'i completed the win.

Although the visitors played with ambition from the off, it was the home side that were the more incisive.

With Ryan Jones impressive at flanker and Biggar and Fotuali'i controlling proceedings behind the scrum, the Swansea-based outfit dominated the opening exchanges.

Their pivot opened the scoring before his half-back partner added a drop-goal to move them into a 6-0 lead after 11 minutes.

The Ospreys' ascendancy in the set-piece was also a decisive factor in the team's supremacy and a powerful drive from the pack saw referee Nigel Owens going under the posts to award a penalty try.

Already under severe pressure, George Earle further compounded the Scarlets' problems when he was sin-binned for not retreating 10 metres. Thomas reduced the arrears, but Biggar kicked successive three-pointers to extend their advantage to 16 points at the interval.

Despite the visitors having a brief spell of pressure at the start of the second period, Steve Tandy's men continued to dominate.

They added to the score when prop Ryan Bevington set up King with a superb pass before their fly-half converted another penalty opportunity.

Fotuali'i then touched down after the Scarlets' Tavis Knoyle had been yellow carded for another cynical infringement.

Remarkably, the last 10 minutes saw Rob McCusker and Gareth Owen sent off, and Thomas sin-binned for the away side, but the Ospreys couldn't find the bonus-point.

The scorers:

For Ospreys:
Tries Penalty try, King, Fotuali'i
Con: Biggar
Pens: Biggar 4
Drop: Fotuali'i

For Scarlets:
Pen: Thomas

Ospreys: 15 Richard Fussell, 14 Ross Jones, 13 Andrew Bishop, 12 Ashley Beck, 11 Eli Walker, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Kahn Fotuali'i (capt), 8 Joe Bearman, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Ryan Jones, 5 James King, 4 Ian Gough, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Ryan Bevington.
Replacements: 16 Scott Baldwin, 17 Duncan Jones, 18 Cai Griffiths, 19 Lloyd Peers, 20 Morgan Allen, 21 Rhys Webb, 22 Matthew Morgan, 23 Tom Isaacs.

Scarlets: 15 Liam Williams 14 George North, 13 Jonathan Davies (capt), 12 Scott Williams, 11 Kristian Phillips, 10 Aled Thomas, 9 Aled Davies, 8 Kieran Murphy, 7 Aaron Shingler, 6 Josh Turnbull, 5 George Earle, 4 Jake Ball, 3 Samson Lee, 2 Matthew Rees, 1 Phil John.
Replacements: 16 Emyr Phillips, 17 Shaun Hopkins, 18 Jacobie Adriaanse, 19 Sione Timani, 20 Rob McCusker, 21 Tavis Knoyle, 22 Gareth Owen, 23 Gareth Maule.

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)

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