Ospreys ease past Cardiff Blues

Date published: October 7 2016

Ospreys moved up to second in the PRO12 standings after they comfortably beat Cardiff Blues 46-24 at the Liberty Stadium on Friday.

The visitors started the encounter impressively, going into a 10-3 lead via Kristian Dacey's try and five points from the boot of Gareth Anscombe, but Steve Tandy's men had a comfortable advantage by the interval.

They touched down four times with Alun Wyn Jones, Eli Walker (2) and Dmitri Arhip all going over as they went into half-time 27-10 ahead.

Ben John and Dan Evans then touched down in the second period for the hosts to effectively secure the victory, although Tom James did hit back for the Blues.

Josh Matavesi and Rey Lee-Lo traded efforts late on, but it was the Ospreys that went away with a superb victory.

Cardiff Blues enjoyed an excellent start to the season, but their unbeaten run was ended by Leinster and they opened this encounter with the intent of bouncing back from that loss.

Anscombe rewarded their endeavour in the early stages by scoring a penalty before Sam Davies levelled matters for the Ospreys.

The Blues were proving to be the more dynamic team in the first quarter and Dacey's score, via a dominant maul, gave the away side a 10-3 lead.

However, much like the previous week, Danny Wilson's men could not maintain that intensity and the Swansea-based outfit began to dominate, particularly when Dan Fish saw yellow for taking Davies out without the ball.

A minute after the full-back had been sin-binned Jones crossed the whitewash from close range. Walker then followed suit, taking a good line to score and giving the Ospreys the advantage for the first time.

With Tandy's side now in control, a third try was soon forthcoming and once again it was their wing who was the beneficiary of more good work by his team-mates, as Evans broke through to set-up the position for Walker to go over.

Arhip made it a 17-point cushion at the break and five minutes into the second period the game was finished as a contest.

Two tries, from John and Evans, took the hosts 39-10 in front and Cardiff Blues were forced to count the cost of a poor passage of play. They stemmed the haemorrhaging with James crossing the whitewash but Matavesi restored the 29-point buffer.

Although the Blues had the final word through Lee-Lo, the home side went away with an excellent result.

The scorers:

For Ospreys:
Tries: Jones, Walker 2, Arhip, John, Evans, Matavesi
Cons: Davies 3, Biggar
Pen: Davies

For Cardiff Blues:
Tries: Dacey, James, Lee-Lo
Cons: Anscombe 3
Pen: Anscombe

Ospreys: 15 Dan Evans, 14 Jeff Hassler, 13 Ben John, 12 Josh Matavesi, 11 Eli Walker, 10 Sam Davies, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Dan Baker, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 James King, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (c), 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Dmitri Arhip, 2 Sam Parry, 1 Nicky Smith
Replacements: 16 Scott Baldwin, 17 Paul James, 18 Ma'afu Fia, 19 Rory Thornton, 20 Dan Lydiate, 21 Tom Habberfield, 22 Dan Biggar, 23 Ashley Beck

Cardiff Blues: 15 Dan Fish, 14 Blaine Scully, 13 Garyn Smith, 12 Rey Lee-Lo, 11 Tom James, 10 Gareth Anscombe, 9 Lloyd Williams, 8 Nick Williams, 7 Ellis Jenkins, 6 Josh Navidi, 5 Josh Turnbull, 4 Macauley Cook, 3 Taufa’ao Filise, 2 Kristian Dacey, 1 Gethin Jenkins (c)
Replacements: 16 Matthew Rees, 17 Rhys Gill, 18 Scott Andrews, 19 James Down, 20 Cam Dolan, 21 Tomos Williams, 22 Steven Shingler, 23 Matthew Morgan

Referee: Nigel Owens (WRU)
Assistant Referees: Sean Brickell, Gareth Newman (both WRU)
TMO: Tim Hayes (WRU)