Planet Rugby

Ospreys finally cut loose

04th October 2009 17:40

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Jonathan thomas v Sarries

Jonathan Thomas: Weighed in with a try

The Ospreys got over their indifferent early-season form and ran in four tries in a 31-10 smashing of Magners League pace-setters Edinburgh.

It was the Ospreys' first home win of the season after two uninspiring defeats by Ulster and Leinster and it takes them into third place in the table.

Even without the influence of Jerry Collins, who was out with flu, the Welsh region were able to produce a brand of rugby in the first half that should hold them in good stead for their opening European clash against Leicester Tigers at Welford Road next Sunday.

The Ospreys put together some of their most potent attacking rugby during a 16-minute spell in the first period when they scored three converted tries, which saw them lead 24-10 at the interval.

Edinburgh, who had won their last two matches at the Liberty Stadium, got on the scoreboard first through a fifth-minute Phil Godman penalty but after that it was all Ospreys until first-half injury time.

Tommy Bowe started the Ospreys' return to form after 14 minutes by going over under the posts unchallenged following a fine pop pass from James Hook that wrong-footed the defence.

And three minutes later Ryan Jones, courtesy of a Mike Phillips pass, made the most of a big hole in the Scots' defence. That was after a neat chip ahead by Dan Biggar had put Hook on the attack.

But the Ospreys produced the best of the three tries in the 30th minute when good inter-passing saw Lee Byrne go over after a burst of pace down the right from Biggar and Nicky Walker. That was after Ali Hogg had been yellow-carded for a deliberate knock-on.

But when Edinburgh were restored to 15 men they engineered an injury-time try from a scrum, with wing Tim Visser taking advantage of space on the blindside.

The Ospreys could not quite match the skilful efforts of the first half after the break, possibly because they made personnel changes with one eye on next week's Heineken Cup clash at Leicester.

And they were not helped when Phillips was sent to the sin-bin for a sly trip on opposite number Mike Blair.

But they eventually racked up the bonus-point try courtesy of an interception pass from replacement outside-half David Blair, which saw Jonathan Thomas run in from 40 metres out as Ospreys opened up a 21-point lead for the second time in the contest.

And that was how it stayed as the match rather petered out in the final 15 minutes.

The scorers:

For the Ospreys:
Tries: Bowe, R.Jones, Byrne, Thomas
Cons: Biggar 4
Pen: Biggar

For Edinburgh:
Try: Visser
Con: Godman
Pen: Godman

Yellow cards: Hogg (Edinburgh, 23), Phillips (Ospreys, 47)

Ospreys: 15 Lee Byrne, 14 Shane Williams, 13 Tommy Bowe, 12 James Hook, 11 Nikki Walker, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Mike Phillips, 8 Ryan Jones (c),7 Marty Holah, 6 Tom Smith, 5 Jonathan Thomas, 4 Alun-wyn Jones, 3 Cai Griffiths, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Duncan Jones.
Replacements: 16 Huw Bennett, 17 Craig Mitchell, 18 Ian Evans, 19 Jerry Collins, 20 Jamie Nutbrown, 21 Gareth Owen, 22 Andrew Bishop.

Edinburgh: 15 Steve Jones, 14 Mark Robertson, 13 Nick De Luca, 12 John Houston, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Phil Godman, 9 Mike Blair (c), 8 Allister Hogg , 7 Alan MacDonald, 6 Scott Newlands, 5 Scott MacLeod, 4 Craig Hamilton, 3 Geoff Cross, 2 Andrew Kelly, 1 Allan Jacobsen.
Replacements: 16 Ross Ford, 17 Ryan Grant, 18 Steven Turnbull, 19 Roddy Grant, 20 Greig Laidlaw, 21

David Blair, 22 Ben Cairns.

Referee: John Lacey (IRFU).
Assistant Referees: Leighton Hodges (WRU), Huw Griffiths (WRU).
TMO: Nigel Whitehouse (WRU).

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