Planet Rugby

Ospreys off to a flying start

02nd September 2011 21:50

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Rhys Webb

Busy night: Rhys Webb

Ospreys made an impressive start to the new RaboDirect Pro12 campaign with a 27-3 victory over European champions Leinster.

Scrum-half Rhys Webb made one try and scored another as the Ospreys produced a stunning first-half display on their way to a fine win.

Webb started and finished a fine move inside the Ospreys' own half after just two minutes and Dan Biggar successfully converted to get the Welsh region off to a flying start.

Biggar successfully landed a penalty and a drop goal in the first half and also converted two further first half tries against the European champions.

Left wing Hanno Dirksen slid over in the left corner at the end of the first quarter for the second try before flanker Justin Tipuric put the seal on an impressive first half effort when he pounced on a kick ahead from the influential Webb to ease Ospreys into a 27-3 interval lead.

Below-par Leinster, missing 13 internationals on World Cup duty, improved after the break but they were unable to build on Mat Berquist's solitary penalty goal despite Tipuric finding himself in the sin-bin.

Centre Ashley Beck, another to impress on the night, held up Kevin McLaughlin ten minutes into the second half to keep the Welsh region's try-line intact.

A flurry of substitutions took any momentum out of the game and neither side were able to make any impression on the scoreboard for the remainder of the game as the second half ended pointless, much to the frustration to the disappointing crowd of 5,424.

The scorers:

For Ospreys:
Tries: Dirkson, Tipuric, Webb
Cons: Biggar 3
Pen: Biggar
Drop: Biggar

For Leinster:
Pen: Berquist

Ospreys: 15 Richard Fussell, 14 Kristian Phillips, 13 Andrew Bishop, 12 Ashley Beck, 11 Hanno Dirksen, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Jonathan Thomas, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Tom Smith, 5 Ian Evans, 4 Ian Gough, 3 Cai Griffiths, 2 Mefin Davies, 1 Duncan Jones.
Replacements: 16 Matthew Dwyer, 17 Ken Dowding, 18 Joe Rees, 19 James King, 20 Morgan Allen, 21 Tom Isaacs, 22 Matthew Morgan, 23 Sonny Parker.

Leinster: 15 Isa Nacewa, 14 Fionn Carr, 13 Eoin O'Malley, 12 Luke Fitzgerald, 11 David Kearney, 10 Mat Berquist, 9 John Cooney, 8 Rhys Ruddock (c), 7 Dominic Ryan, 6 Kevin McLaughlin, 5 Devin Toner, 4 Damian Browne, 3 Jamie Hagan, 2 Richardt Strauss, 1 Heinke van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Aaron Dundon, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 Jack O'Connell, 19 Mark Flanagan, 20 Leo Auva'a, 21 Cillian Willis, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 Brendan Macken.

Referee: Peter Fitzgibbon

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