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Ospreys boot Lions out of play-offs

MATCH REPORT: Ospreys are in the play-offs after a nailbiting 33-29 win over Cardiff at Cardiff City Stadium in the United Rugby Championship on Saturday.

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This win means the Lions have been booted out of the top eight after they managed to secure a losing bonus point against the Stormers, taking them to 50 points and eighth on the log.

Cardiff were in contention throughout but two tries from international prop Nicky Smith and others from Justin Tipuric and Luke Morgan proved just enough. They were also awarded a penalty try with Dan Edwards adding three conversions.

Mason Grady scored two of Cardiff’s tries with Theo Cabango and Gabriel Hamer-Webb also on the try-scoring sheet. Ben Thomas kicked a penalty and two conversions with Tinus de Beer adding a conversion.

Ospreys began strongly to take an early lead when Smith forced his way over from close range but moments later Cardiff drew level when Cabango ran elusively to squeeze over in the corner for a splendid individual try.

However, Cabango’s joy was short-lived as he was soon helped off with a hamstring injury to be replaced by Hamer-Webb.

With both sides keen to play in an attacking fashion, it resulted in an exciting spectacle with Ospreys picking up the next score thanks to the excellence of Tipuric.

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First the skipper nailed Cameron Winnett to win a penalty for not releasing. He then quickly took the penalty to put the Cardiff defence on the back foot and was then on hand to take a difficult scoring pass from Edwards after Keelan Giles had beaten a couple of defenders.

Cardiff soon came close to responding when Grady won the race to a chip ahead but was unable to secure the touchdown but it mattered little as the wing was almost immediately on the scoresheet when he supported a break from Ben Thomas.

De Beer missed the touchline conversion so the game was tied at 12-12 at half-time but five minutes after the restart the South African fly-half hobbled off.

Worse was to follow as Ospreys scored their third try when Smith finished off a succession of forward drives but their opponents remained in the hunt with a penalty from captain Thomas.

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Thomas missed with another more difficult kick and Ospreys then broke out with a kick and chase from Edwards.

Pressure was maintained and from a close-range set scrum, Morgan Morris and Max Nagy created the space for Morgan to dash over.

Spirited Cardiff would not lie down and skillful passing sent Hamer-Webb over but a late red card for Seb Davies for a head-high challenge on Owen Watkin ended their challenge with a penalty try award soon following.

Still, Cardiff had the final say with Grady scoring scoring a second after Ospreys’ Luke Davies was yellow-carded to earn the home side a well-deserved two bonus points.

Scorers:

For Cardiff:
Tries: Cabango, Grady, Hamer-Webb
Cons: De Beer, Thomas
Pen: Thomas

For Ospreys:
Tries: Smith 2, Tipuric, Morgan
Cons: Edwards 3

Teams:

Cardiff: 15 Cameron Winnett, 14 Theo Cabango, 13 Rey Lee-Lo, 12 Ben Thomas (captain), 11 Mason Grady, 10 Tinus de Beer, 9 Ellis Bevan, 8 Alun Lawrence, 7 James Botham, 6 Ben Donnell, 5 Rory Thornton, 4 Shane Lewis-Hughes, 3 Keiron Assiratti, 2 Evan Lloyd, 1 Rhys Carre
Replacement: 16 Efan Daniel, 17 Corey Domachowski, 18 Rhys Litterick, 19 Seb Davies, 20 Lopeti Timani, 21 Willis Halaholo, 22 Jacob Beetham, 23 Gabriel Hamer-Webb

Ospreys: 15 Max Nagy, 14 Luke Morgan, 13 Owen Watkin, 12 Keiran Williams, 11 Keelan Giles, 10 Dan Edwards, 9 Reuben Morgan-Williams, 8 Morgan Morris, 7 Justin Tipuric (captain), 6 Jac Morgan, 5 Huw Sutton, 4 James Ratti, 3 Tom Botha, 2 Dewi Lake, 1 Nicky Smith
Replacements: 16 Sam Parry, 17 Gareth Thomas, 18 Rhys Henry, 19 Victor Sekekete, 20 Harri Deaves, 21 Luke Davies, 22 Owen Williams, 23 Harri Houston

Referee: Adam Jones (Wales)
Assistant referees: Maickel English (Wales) and Elgan Williams (Wales)
TMO: Tom Spurrier (Wales)

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