Planet Rugby

Ospreys claim Pro12 crown

27th May 2012 18:01

Share:

ospreys

Ospreys: Pro12 champions

Ospreys pipped Leinster at the death to claim a dramatic 31-30 win in Sunday's RaboDirect PRO12 final at the RDS.

In his last game for Ospreys, former Wales wing Shane Williams scored the match-winning try in the 78th minute - duly converted by Dan Biggar - to help claim the spoils for the Welsh region in Dublin.

Both sides scored three tries, but the home side paid the price for a missed early penalty by Jonathan Sexton - a weak kick which proved the difference as Biggar's sole miss was a conversion, meaning he kicked 16 points to the Leinster fly-half's 15.

Leinster mostly paid the price for indiscipline though - Heinke van der Merwe and Nathan White both spending time in the bin - conceding two of three tries at points when they were a man short.

Ospreys have now won the 'Celtic' League twice in three seasons, having also beaten Leinster in the 2010 final.

The Welsh region went into the game on a six match winning streak, but they found themselves 17-9 down at half-time with Sean Cronin and Isa Nacewa going over for the hosts. Sexton also added a penalty while Biggar responded with three of his own for the visitors.

Despite two more three-pointers from Sexton in the second period, touchdowns from Ashley Beck and Williams saw the gap reduced to two points before Nacewa's second score seemingly sealed the victory.

But, after Biggar had kicked a fourth penalty, Williams went over for a converted try to deny Leinster a European and league double.

It was the Swansea-based outfit who opened the scoring thanks to a three-pointer from their fly-half. However, Sexton converted a penalty opportunity to level matters.

Biggar kicked a second from the tee, but it was the Irish province that looked the most threatening with ball in hand.

Having failed to secure the double last season, losing to arch-rivals Munster in the play-off final, Leinster seemed determined not to replicate that lacklustre performance. And Cronin went over for the first try of the match after a superb off-load from Brian O'Driscoll, Sexton converting, to forge them into the lead.

The visiting fly-half reduced the arrears with another successful penalty before Nacewa pounced on some slack Ospreys' defence to touch down straight from the restart.

Van der Merwe, in for the injured Cian Healy, was then sin-binned after repeated infringements in the scrum, but the home side held on until the break.

The Ospreys took advantage of the extra man two minutes into the second half when Beck crossed the whitewash.

However, their good work was undone when ill-discipline allowed Sexton to kick successive penalties and extend Leinster's advantage to 23-16.

Once again, the visitors hit back through a Williams try in his final game for the region, but Nacewa touched down to relieve the pressure.

Nathan White became the second player to be yellow carded for the Irish province and Biggar kicked the resultant penalty before Williams provided the perfect send-off.

The scorers:

For Leinster:
Tries: Cronin, Nacewa 2
Cons: Sexton 3
Pen: Sexton 3

For Ospreys:
Tries: Beck, Williams 2
Cons: Biggar
Pens: Biggar 4

Leinster: 15 Rob Kearney, 14 Fergus McFadden, 13 Brian O'Driscoll, 12 Gordon D'Arcy, 11 Isa Nacewa, 10 Jonathan Sexton, 9 Eoin Reddan, 8 Jamie Heaslip, 7 Shane Jennings, 6 Kevin McLaughlin, 5 Devin Toner, 4 Leo Cullen (c), 3 Mike Ross, 2 Sean Cronin, 1 Heinke van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 Richardt Strauss, 17 Cian Healy/Jack McGrath, 18 Nathan White, 19 Brad Thorn, 20 Dominic Ryan, 21 John Cooney, 22 Ian Madigan, 23 David Kearney.

Ospreys: 15 Richard Fussell, 14 Hanno Dirksen, 13 Andrew Bishop, 12 Ashley Beck, 11 Shane Williams, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Joe Bearman, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Ryan Jones, 5 Ian Evans, 4 Alun Wyn Jones (capt), 3 Adam Jones, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Scott Baldwin, 17 Ryan Bevington, 18 Aaron Jarvis, 19 James King, 20 Tom Smith, 21 Kahn Fotuali'i, 22 Matthew Morgan, 23 Tom Isaacs.

Referee: Romain Poite (France)

Forthcoming Fixtures
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 21
Harlequins vs Sale SharksHarlequins vs Sale Sharks Preview
Newcastle Falcons vs GloucesterNewcastle Falcons vs Gloucester Preview
Saturday , November 22
Exeter vs Wasps15:00
London Irish vs Bath15:00
Sunday , November 23
Saracens vs Northampton13:00
London Welsh vs Leicester Tigers15:15
More Aviva Premiership fixtures
International Match
Saturday , November 22
Italy vs South Africa15:00
Scotland vs Tonga14:30
Ireland vs Australia16:30
Wales vs New Zealand17:30
England vs Samoa19:00
France vs Argentina21:00
More International Match fixtures
Guinness PRO12
Friday , November 21
Dragons vs MunsterDragons vs Munster Preview
Scarlets vs Glasgow WarriorsScarlets vs Glasgow Warriors Preview
Connacht vs ZebreConnacht vs Zebre Preview
Ulster vs OspreysUlster vs Ospreys Preview
Sunday , November 23
Treviso vs Leinster14:30
Edinburgh vs Cardiff Blues16:00
More Guinness PRO12 fixtures
Recent Results
FixtureDetails
All times are local
Aviva Premiership
Sunday , November 16
Leicester Tigers 21 - 21 SaracensLeicester Tigers vs Saracens Report
Wasps 71 - 7 London WelshWasps vs London Welsh Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Ireland 49 - 7 GeorgiaIreland vs Georgia Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Saturday , November 15
Sale Sharks 36 - 8 London IrishSale Sharks vs London Irish Report
Bath 23 - 14 Newcastle FalconsBath vs Newcastle Falcons Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Romania 13 - 18 JapanRomania vs Japan Report
France 29 - 26 AustraliaFrance vs Australia Report
Scotland 16 - 24 New ZealandScotland vs New Zealand Report
England 28 - 31 South AfricaEngland vs South Africa Report
Tonga 40 - 12 USATonga vs USA Report
Wales 17 - 13 FijiWales vs Fiji Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership
Friday , November 14
Gloucester 15 - 22 HarlequinsGloucester vs Harlequins Report
Northampton 18 - 24 ExeterNorthampton vs Exeter Report
More Aviva Premiership results
International Match
Italy 18 - 20 ArgentinaItaly vs Argentina Report
Canada 13 - 23 SamoaCanada vs Samoa Report
More International Match results
LV= Cup
Cardiff Blues 19 - 13 Scarlets
Ospreys 35 - 51 DragonsOspreys vs Dragons Report
Sunday , November 9
Wasps 43 - 22 London Irish
London Welsh 9 - 18 Gloucester
Leicester 29 - 13 Sale SharksLeicester vs Sale Sharks Report
More LV= Cup results
International Match
Saturday , November 8
Italy 24 - 13 SamoaItaly vs Samoa Report
Wales 28 - 33 AustraliaWales vs Australia Report
England 21 - 24 New ZealandEngland vs New Zealand Report
Georgia 9 - 23 TongaGeorgia vs Tonga Report
Ireland 29 - 15 South AfricaIreland vs South Africa Report
More International Match results
Aviva Premiership Table
PosTeamPPts
1Northampton726
2Exeter724
3Bath724
4Saracens724
5Wasps720