Welsh rivals share the spoils
April 2, 2011
Ospreys fly-half Dan Biggar kicked five penalties and a drop goal during Saturday evening's game
© Getty Images
The Ospreys had to settle for a 21-21 draw after a stop-start, tryless Magners League derby with the Cardiff Blues at the Liberty Stadium.
Both regions took two points from the draw in a game that was dominated by the boots of fly-halves Dan Biggar and Dan Parks. Biggar provided 18 points with five penalties and a drop goal, with a further drop goal scored by James Hook. Parks kicked all his side's 21 points - five penalties and two drop goals.
The first half produced little excitement and the only highlight was the attacking impetus of Blues No.8 Xavier Rush, who made one 40 metre break and then also put fullback Dan Fish clear with a neat pass out of the back door.
The Ospreys had the best of the set-piece, especially in the scrum which was responsible for two of Biggar's first three penalty shots. Biggar's first kick was a monster penalty which just crept over the upright from five metres inside the Ospreys' own half.
From 9-0 down after 23 minutes the Blues started to get a bigger percentage of possession which saw Parks put over a drop goal and five minutes later he struck a penalty. But with both sides making mistakes they had to rely on their respective No.10s to get the scoreboard ticking.
After Blues lock Bradley Davies was sent to the bin by French referee Christophe Berdos, Biggar restored the Ospreys six-point lead with his fourth penalty. In injury time Parks and Biggar swapped a penalty and a drop goal, respectively, as the Ospreys went in at the interval 15-9 up.
The drop goal-fest continued right at the start of the second half with James Hook putting over three more points. But that was cancelled out with a fourth Parks penalty as the fractured nature of the contest continued.
Referee Berdos' ran out of patience with the serial infringing and he sent Jerry Collins to the sin bin for failing to release a player on the floor. Despite being a player light the Ospreys were next to score, with Biggar converting his fifth penalty after the Blues had been caught offside.
But Cardiff hit back as Parks was successful with his fifth penalty kick, reducing the home lead to 21-18 on 62 minutes. And the scores were level at 21-21 after Parks put over his second drop goal six minutes from time.
The Ospreys twice tried to regain the lead but both Biggar and Hook missed the target with drop goal attempts late on.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
"If England flounder in the next World Cup the knives will be out - six-year contract or not." Tom Hamilton on the new contract for the England coaches
With the deadline for World Cup ticket applications now over, Tom May outlines his hopes, gripes and wishes for next year's global gathering
Floundering Leicester, exquisite Exeter and two old England players tearing up trees - it's the Monday Maul
The latest Week in Pictures takes in the Rugby Championship and all the domestic action from the northern hemisphere