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Ospreys teach slovenly Lions a lesson

MATCH REPORT: The Ospreys moved into the top eight of the United Rugby Championship with a 36-21 bonus-point victory over the Lions in Swansea on Saturday.

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Starting in 11th place, they took advantage of a slovenly Lions team to move into seventh place.

The Lions, who had started the day in eighth place, left Swansea empty-handed and with more questions than answers.

* To recap all the drama, CLICK HERE!

Ospreys now face some difficult tasks – with a trip to Leinster and two back-to-back games in South Africa.

Tom Botha, Sam Parry, Morgan Morris, Lewis Lloyd and Keiran Williams scored their tries with Owen Williams kicking three conversions and a penalty. Jack Walsh added a conversion.

Lions could not repeat last week’s notable 38-14 success in Connacht but managed three tries from PJ Botha, Quan Horn and Richard Kriel all of which Jordan Hendrikse converted.

Ospreys made a quick start by building up a sustained period of pressure and were rewarded when Botha forced his way over from close-range.

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Williams missed the conversion but the hosts soon extended their advantage with an excellent second try.

From a ruck 30 metres out, Reuben Morgan-Williams sailed through a huge gap in the visitors’ defence to send Parry over for the hooker to celebrate his 150th appearance for the region.

Williams converted and Ospreys held a 12-0 lead at the end of a competitive first quarter.

Lions then showed their first real attacking intent but resilient defence led by home skipper Justin Tipuric kept the try-line intact.

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Still the South Africans had much the better of the second quarter, aided by the yellow card dished out to Parry for repeated team infringements, but Hendrikse missed the resulting penalty.

However, relentless pressure had to count and it came when Botha finished off a driving line-out but Ospreys soon responded with a penalty from Williams to give them a 15-7 half-time lead.

Seven minutes after the restart, Lions suffered a blow when their replacement prop Morgan Naudé was sin-binned for a tip tackle on Tipuric and the home side soon capitalised when Morris crashed over.

Naudé returned from the sin-bin in time to see Lloyd finish off a driving line-out for the bonus-point try.

Lions staged a determined rally and were rewarded with tries from Horn and Kriel but they finished the game pointless as Williams scored a late try for the hosts to seal victory.

Player of the Match

No.8 Morgan Morris was at the heart of a huge defensive effort from his side to keep the lively Lions at bay. He also led the ball-carrying stakes and was rewarded with one of his side’s five tries.

Play of the Match

After last week’s home defeat to Munster, Ospreys needed a quick start and they got one. First Tom Botha crossed but that was soon trumped by Sam Parry’s celebration try when he finished off a superb clean break from scrumhalf Reuben Morgan-Williams.

The scorers

For Ospreys
Tries: T Botha, Parry, Morris, Lloyd, K Williams
Cons: O Williams 3, Walsh
Pen: O Williams

For the Lions
Tries: P Botha, Horn, Kriel
Cons: Hendrikse 3

Yellow cards: Sam Parry (Ospreys, 31 – cynical foul, slapping the ball out of the scrumhalf’s hand), Morgan Naudé (Lions, 48 – foul plays, tip tackle)

Teams:

Ospreys: 15 Jack Walsh, 14 Luke Morgan, 13 Evardi Boshoff, 12 Owen Watkin, 11 Keelan Giles, 10 Owen Williams, 9 Reuben Morgan-Williams, 8 Morgan Morris, 7 Justin Tipuric (captain), 6 James Ratti, 5 Adam Beard, 4 Rhys Davies, 3 Tom Botha, 2 Sam Parry, 1 Gareth Thomas.
Replacements: 16 Lewis Lloyd, 17 Garyn Phillips, 18 Ben Warren, 19 Huw Sutton, 20 Harri Deaves, 21 Luke Davies, 22 Max Nagy, 23 Keiran Williams.

Lions: 15 Quan Horn, 14 Richard Kriel, 13 Erich Cronje, 12 Marius Louw (captain), 11 Edwill van der Merwe, 10 Jordan Hendrikse, 9 Sanele Nohamba, 8 Francke Horn, 7 Emmanuel Tshituka, 6 JC Pretorius, 5 Reinhard Nothnagel, 4 Etienne Oosthuizen, 3 Conraad van Vuuren, 2 PJ Botha, 1 JP Smith.
Replacements: 16 Jaco Visagie, 17 Morgan Naudé, 18 Ruan Dryer, 19 Darrien Landsberg, 20 Izan Esterhuizen, 21 Hanru Sirgel, 22 Morné van den Berg, 23 Stean Pienaar.

Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Tom Spurrier (Wales) and Gwyn Morris (Wales)
TMO: Leo Colgan (Ireland)

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