Ospreys smash sorry Blues
April 14, 2012
Dan Biggar was superb with the boot
© PA Photos
The Ospreys produced a stunning second-half performance to dispatch rivals Cardiff Blues 33-12 in Cardiff on Saturday.
The Blues have been in disarray, each week bringing news of another star leaving, while four successive losses culminated in a crushing defeat by Leinster in last weekend's Heineken Cup quarter-final. Yet they showed welcome commitment to go in 12-6 up at half-time.
Leigh Halfpenny opened the scoring with a monster penalty which crept in off a post, but the Blues lost centre Gavin Evans to the sin bin for a deliberate knock-on and Dan Biggar, on his 100th appearance for the Ospreys, added further punishment. The kick was his 12th success in a row but the 22-year-old missed his next attempt, before again responding after Halfpenny had put the Blues back in front.
The Wales full-back slotted over another as the boot continued to dominate. After the game's first five scrums had ended in an infringement, the Ospreys finally heeled the ball only to squander possession, giving the faultless Halfpenny the chance to add a fourth penalty before the break.
The Ospreys, no doubt on the receiving end of a dressing-room ear-bashing, showed greater urgency on the resumption and Joe Bearman broke the Blues' defence only for the ball to be lost forward. But referee George Clancy gave the visitors a helping hand when he yellow-carded a second Blues player, fly-half Ceri Sweeney, for a deliberate knock-on.
While Evans' earlier guilt had seemed clear, this time Sweeney looked to be making a genuine attempt to catch the ball. Biggar showed no sympathy with his opposite number, kicking the simple penalty, and quickly levelled the scores with another when Blues debutant Luke Hamilton held on.
Finally the crowd were lifted by a try shortly after the hour, with Ospreys captain Alun-Wyn Jones storming through some tentative tackling to reach the line and Biggar adding the extras. Prop Adam Jones soon crossed for a second, bursting over from a ruck, and Biggar further extended the lead. The Ospreys wrapped things up when replacement number eight Tom Smith touched down for a pushover try in the last minute and Biggar once again converted.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
From Burgess to Boudjellal, Haskell to Honey Badgers and retirees to Retallick, here's the Quotes of 2014
It was another bumper year of rugby action in 2014; join us as we take a look back at some of the season's top statistics
Salary caps, Saints, sinners and scrums - Monday Maul looks back at the key talking points from an eventful weekend