Planet Rugby

Ten out of ten for the Ospreys

19th December 2009 16:19

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Tommy Bowe try Ospreys Leicester

Opening score: Tommy Bowe

It was a case of mission accomplished for the Ospreys as they completed successive maximums over Viadana with a 45-19 win at Liberty Stadium.

Man-of-the-match Tommy Bowe crossed twice as the Welsh region followed up their 62-7 win in Italy last week with a less convincing six tries to one at an icy cold Liberty Stadium.

Dan Biggar, still only 20, provided 16 points to make it a remarkable 37 points out of 37 with the boot from the two Viadana clashes.

But the big plus point for the Ospreys was the return of Lions prop Adam Jones. The tighthead came on 58 minutes into the match for his first rugby in six months since dislocating his shoulder in the Lions' second Test against South Africa last June.

The Ospreys fielded the same starting line-up that produced the eight-try victory in northern Italy last weekend.

The first score of the contest arrived through the boot of Biggar, who planted a penalty from a scrum offence, but that was cancelled out by a Garry Law penalty only two minutes later.

Although it was 3-3, Viadana enjoyed more than their fair share of possession as the Ospreys failed to click in the first quarter.

In fact, the Ospreys should have gone behind when Law missed a penalty from in front after 20 minutes.

The Ospreys finally clicked in the 24th minute with the opening try for Bowe, who went over after Biggar sent him on a run with a pop pass as the region got good ball from a scrum wide out on the right.

And the sin-binning of visiting captain Quintin Geldenhuys for disrupting an Ospreys drive helped the team score two more tries.

The second try came from number eight Filo Tiatia, who crossed from short range to give his side a 17-3 lead after 32 minutes.

Tiatia was heavily involved in the third score five minutes later as the Ospreys passed it impressively through the hands before Sonny Parker went over on the left.

Just before the break the Italians slotted a second penalty goal but, after the Ospreys had begun the match looking as rusty as Viadana's jerseys, they began to move through the gears.

And they hit overdrive two minutes into the second half as full-back Gareth Owen squeezed in at the left corner for the all-important bonus-point try, converted brilliantly by Biggar, who made it 15 out of 15 kicks in the two contests.

But the Ospreys went back into their shells. First Richard Hibbard was dispatched to the sin-bin for some ball-killing and then Law put over his third and fourth penalties.

At least they got Adam and Ryan Jones back on the field. The Wales captain had recovered from the back injury that ruled him out of the Wales-Australia game.

But the biggest cheer of the afternoon was reserved for Adam Jones.

If the match lacked any real excitement, it produced a frenetic finish of three tries in four minutes. An interception score from Gavin Quinnell, who grabbed Viadana's only try in the opening leg, was the meat in the sandwich as both Bowe and Nikki Walker crossed.

The scorers:

For Ospreys:
Tries:
Bowe 2, Tiatia, Parker, Owen, Walker
Con: Biggar 6
Pen: Biggar

For Viadana:
Tries: Quinnell
Con: Law
Pen:
Law, Johansson

Ospreys: 15 Gareth Owen, 14 Tommy Bowe, 13 Sonny Parker, 12 Andrew Bishop, 11 Nikki Walker, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Ricky Januarie, 8 Filo Tiatia, 7 Marty Holah, 6 Jerry Collins (C), 5 Jonathan Thomas, 4 Alun-Wyn Jones, 3 Craig Mitchell, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Huw Bennett, 17 Cai Griffiths, 18 Adam Jones, 19 Ian Evans, 20 Ryan Jones, 21 Jamie Nutbrown, 22 James Hook, 23 Jonathan Spratt.

Viadana: 15 Garry Law, 14 Matteo Pratichetti, 13 Matthew Harvey, 12 Sam Cox, 11 Michele Sepe, 10 Lloyd Johansson, 9 Mickey Wilson, 8 Josh Sole, 7 Gareth Krause, 6 Aaron Persico, 5 Quintin Geldenhuys, 4 Sean Hohneck, 3 Ignacio Elosu, 2 Roberto Santamaria, 1 Plinio Sciamanna.
Replacements:16 Luigi Ferraro, 17 Mattia Cagna, 18 Luigi Milani, 19 Gavin Quinnell, 20 Andrea Benatti, 21 Andrea Brancoli, 22 Pierre Hola, 23 Samuele Pace,

Referee: Christophe Berdos (France)
Assistant referees: Eric Gauzins (France), Jean-Luc Rebollal (France)
Assessor: Steve Lander (England)

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