Ospreys snatch play-off place
May 6, 2011
Aironi winger Danwel Demas dives over in the corner at the Stadio Luigi Zaffanella
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James Hook kept his nerve to land a late penalty which earned the Ospreys a dramatic 12-10 victory over Aironi in Viadana and a place in the Magners League play-offs.
The Welsh region went into the final round of the regular season in fifth place, one point adrift of compatriots Cardiff. However, with the Blues slumping to defeat to the Scarlets, the Ospreys were able to claim fourth to set up a play-off clash with table-toppers Munster.
The Ospreys appeared to be heading for a shock defeat in Italy after falling 10-3 down with just over half an hour to play, following a try from Aironi wing Danwel Demas and five points from the boot of Tito Tebaldi. However, two successful strikes on goal from fly-half Dan Biggar, who had opened the scoring at the Stadio Luigi Zaffanella with a penalty, drew the visitors to within a point.
Biggar squandered the opportunity to put the Ospreys into the lead when he missed a 56th-minute penalty attempt and his failure off the tee looked likely to prove incredibly costly. However, the visitors earned themselves another shot on goal with just five minutes to go and Hook split the sticks to nick a crucial win.
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