Planet Rugby

Ospreys masterclass stuns Blues

09th September 2008 21:24

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James Hook Ospreys 2008

Profitable night: Hook claimed 22 points

The Ospreys made it two wins from two in the Magners League thanks to a thrilling second-half materclass over Cardiff Blues, disposing of their Welsh rivals in a 32-10 victory at Liberty Stadium on Tuesday.

The imperious hosts racked up an incredible 27 unanswered points in 25 minutes after the break with fly-half James Hook contributing 22 of those including two tries.

With the two regions in the middle of a tough brief of three games in eight days there were alterations on both sides. The EDF holders made seven from the team that won at Connacht and the Blues changed nine following their 16-16 draw with Leinster.

It took wing wizard Shane Williams just three minutes to stamp his authority on the contest, sprinting in for an unconverted try down the right flank, put in by impressive Wales full-back colleague Lee Byrne.

At the other end the Ospreys showed some well-organised defence to stop three concerted Blues attacks into their 22.

The Blues were eventually rewarded for their territorial dominance with a penalty from Ben Blair on 39 minutes after a ruck offence from Ospreys lock Alun-Wyn Jones to make it 5-3 at the interval. That after Blair missed an attempt in his own half in the seventh minute of injury time.

But the match did not come alive until the second period when an impressive run by Filo Tiatia, who was featuring in his 50th Ospreys appearance, set up good territory from where Hook planted a 48th-minute penalty goal.

The five-point margin became 11-3 three minutes later as Hook found his range again when the Blues strayed offside.

Hook then completed thirteen unanswered points in five minutes when he was on hand to run in and convert the Ospreys' second try after a brilliant counter-run by Byrne as the home side's lead increased to 18-3.

That became 25-3 when a Hook cross-kick was beautifully kicked ahead on the bounce and picked up by Tommy Bowe to go over for try number three - with Hook converting to make it 20 points in just nine minutes.

And the Welsh pivot was then put across for his brace by Ospreys new scrum-half signing Jamie Nutbrown on 72 minutes to register a bonus point.

Former Ospreys wing Aled Brew crossed for a converted score in injury-time to give the scoreline some respectability as far as the Blues were concerned but the night belonged to the table-topping hosts.

The scorers:

For Ospreys:

Tries: Williams, Hook 2, Bowe

Con: Hook 3

Pen: Hook 2

For Cardiff Blues:

Tries: Brew

Con: Brew

Pen: Blair

Ospreys: 15 Lee Byrne, 14 Tommy Bowe, 13 Sonny Parker, 12 Andrew Bishop, 11 Shane Williams, 10 James Hook, 9 Rhodri Wells, 8 Ryan Jones (c), 7 Steve Tandy, 6 Filo Tiatia, 5 Ian Evans, 4 Alun Wyn Jones, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Huw Bennett, 1 Duncan Jones.

Replacements: 16 Ed Shervington, 17 Paul James, 18 Ian Gough, 19 Tom Smith, 20 Jamie Nutbrown, 21 Gareth Owen, 22 Nikki Walker.

Cardiff Blues: 15 Ben Blair, 14 Richard Mustoe, 13 Jamie Robinson, 12 Jamie Roberts, 11 Aled Brew, 10 Ceri Sweeney, 9 Darren Allinson, 8 Andy Powell, 7 Robin-Sowden Taylor, 6 Ben White, 5 Scott Morgan, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Gary Powell, 2 T. Rhys Thomas, 1 Taufa'ao Filise.

Replacements: 16 Gethin Jenkins, 17 Gareth Williams, 18 Paul Tito, 19 Maama Molitika, 20 Jason Spice, 21 Nicky Robinson, 22 Tom Shanklin.

Referee: Nigel Owens (WRU)

Assistant Referees: Tim Hayes (WRU), Nigel Whitehouse (WRU)

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