Monday 19 February 2018

Williams and Hook tries begin the final countdown for Ospreys

Ospreys 20
Glasgow 5

Tries by Shane Williams and James Hook booked the Ospreys a place in the Magners League Grand Final in a hard-fought last-four clash against Glasgow at the Liberty Stadium.

A crowd of only 7,079 watched the match, and the Ospreys will now play the winners of tonight's semi-final between Munster and Leinster. Glasgow have never won on Ospreys turf and they were not helped that Dan Parks missed eight points' worth of kicks, failing with two penalties and missing the conversion for Fergus Thomson's second-half try.

Due to traffic problems, which delayed the Glasgow coach and four of the Ospreys players, the kick-off was delayed by 10 minutes. The Warriors were without Scotland captain Chris Cusiter, replaced by Mark McMillan, against an unchanged Ospreys.

The Ospreys went into the game weighed down by a £100,000 fine and a four-point deduction for next season for not fulfilling their March 19 fixture in Ulster.

On 10 minutes the Ospreys had their first try. Glasgow knocked on in contact on the halfway line, Shane Williams picked up, evaded a tackle and ran in unopposed for only his third regional try of the season. But there was a suspicion Williams had a foot in touch as he ran clear.


The Ospreys had the better of the referee's decisions but what penalties Glasgow had Parks missed with long-range efforts on 14 and 34 minutes.

The only other try-scoring chance of the half came in injury-time when Andrew Bishop charged down a Parks kick, but the Ospreys centre knocked on just five metres short as he tried to gather the ball, leaving the Ospreys to go in at half-time with a narrow 7-0 lead.

The second half began in dramatic fashion with Glasgow scoring a try in only the second minute. Hooker Thomson went over in the left corner after scrum-half McMillan had picked up a loose palm down at a line-out from Ryan Jones.

But in the space of three minutes the Ospreys were back in control of the contest, leading 17-5. A Biggar penalty was followed by a fine try from James Hook, who made a fine break down the left and then chipped over the cover defence to regather and go over.

After that the Ospreys took full control of the game and put some gloss on the scoreline with an injury-time penalty for Biggar.

Ospreys -- Byrne; Bowe, Bishop (Walker 58), Hook (Owen 80), Williams; Biggar, M Phillips (Nutbrown 78); James, Bennett (Shervington 78), A Jones (Bevington 71); A W Jones, J. Thomas; Collins (Gough 62), Holah, R Jones (Tiatia 58).

Glasgow -- Stortoni (Shaw 41); Dewey, M Evans, Morrison, van der Merwe (O'Hare 58); Parks, McMillan (Weir 80); Kalman (Tkachuk 35), Thomson (MacArthur 71), Low; Barker (Eddie 67), Kellock (Turner 58); Brown, Barclay, Beattie.

Ref -- G Clancy (IRFU).

Irish Independent

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