Planet Rugby

Ospreys sack Sixways

27th October 2007 16:25

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Delport Worcester Ospreys

Access Denied: Worcester's Thinus Delport is tackled by Sonny Parker and James Hook

The Ospreys gave all Wales a reason to cheer by thumping Worcester in the opening round of the EDF Energy Cup, running in seven tries on the way to a 47-16 victory at Sixways on Saturday.

Last year's beaten finalists put on a show of running rugby to thoughly outclass the hapless Warriors, who are still without a competitive victory this season.

Wales wing Shane Williams crossed twice, as did full-back Lee Byrne, while Nikki Walker, Sonny Parker and Mike Phillips were also on the scoresheet.

The visiting side were quickly into the game forcing a penalty 45 metres out in front of the posts, which James Hook narrowly missed, while Warriors centre Dale Rasmussen needed to make a last-ditch tackle to prevent a try.

The home side were dominating the set-piece battles, but whenever the ball was moved along the back-line the handling was poor and the errors were frequent.

However, in the 11th minute, Ospreys' dominance told and Lee Byrne burst through a weak Mark Tucker tackle for the game's opening score. Hook added the extra points.

Livewire wing Shane Williams came close to scoring, only to be thwarted by Loki Crichton but, just a minute later, more poor tackling from Marcel Garvey and Shane Drahm saw Walker go over for the second Ospreys try. Hook was again on target.

The home fans were cheering in the 22nd minute when it appeared Rasmussen had crashed over but after consultation with the video ref, the try was not given.

Following a decent period of pressure, Warriors opened their account five minutes before the break. The visitors infringed at the breakdown and Warriors looked to get the ball out to South African wing Thinus Delport. He was held up short of the line, but referee Nigel Owens bought play back for a penalty in front of the posts and Drahm made no mistake.

The home side were soon pegged back, though, when Williams escaped Delport's clutches to dive over in the corner and Hook split the posts from the touchline.

Drahm made the score 21-6 at the break with the last kick of the half.

Calf injury victim Pat Sanderson, the Warriors captain, was replaced at the interval by Kai Horstmann, who added impetus to the hosts' challenge.

Drahm made it 21-9 after number eight Filo Tiatia was penalised for deliberately lying on the wrong side of a ruck to kill Warriors' possession - an offence which earned the Ospreys man 10 minutes in the sin bin.

Despite the man advantage, Warriors conceded another try when, after a surging run up field by Walker, Ospreys got the ball to Sonny Parker who barged over. Hook slotted the conversion.

Second-row Craig Gillies handed the home team a life-line when we skillfully fielded replacement fly-half James Brown's cross-field kick to crash over in the corner. Brown then nailed the touchline conversion.

It didn't take Ospreys long to regain the initiative, though, as Williams bagged his second and Ospreys' fifth try.

The fifth try was too much for Worcester and the home side disintegrated, conceding two more tries in the final minutes of the game. First, Wales scrum-half Mike Phillips burst onto a line-out tap-down to score, then, Byrne was the beneficiary from some great running down the left flank by Alun Wyn Jones.

Shaun Connor, who replaced the immaculate Hook, added the extra points on both occasions.

The scorers:

For Worcester Warriors:

Try: Gillies

Cons: Brown

Pens: Drahm 3

For the Ospreys:

Tries: Byrne 2, Walker, Williams 2, Parker, Phillips

Cons: Hook 4, Connor 2

Worcester: 15 Shane Drahm, 14 Thinus Delport, 13 Dale Rasmussen, 12 Mark Tucker, 11 Marcel Garvey, 10 Loki Crichton, 9 Ryan Powell, 8 Gavin Quinnell, 7 Pat Sanderson, 6 Drew Hickey, 5 Craig Gillies, 4 Phil Murphy, 3 Tavita Taumoepeau, 2 Leki Lutui, 1 Darren Morris

Replacements: 16 Tony Windo, 17 Chris Fortey, 18 Will Bowley, 19 Kai Horstmann, 20 Matt Powell, 21 James Brown, 22 Miles Benjamin

Ospreys: 15 Lee Byrne, 14 Nikki Walker, 13 Sonny Parker, 12 Gavin Henson, 11 Shane Williams, 10 James Hook, 9 Justin Marshall, 8 Filo Tiatia (c), 7 Ben Lewis, 6 Jonathan Thomas, 5 Ian Evans, 4 Ian Gough, 3 Cai Griffiths, 2 Huw Bennett, 1 Duncan Jones

Replacements: 16 Richard Hibbard, 17 Adam Jones, 18 Alun Wyn Jones, 19 Steve Tandy, 20 Mike Phillips, 21 Shaun Connor, 22 Andrew Bishop

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales)

Touch judges: David Bodilly (Wales), Huw Griffiths (Wales)

Television match official: Andrew Turner (England), Graham Hughes (England)

Assessor: Brian Leigh (Wales)

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