Myler snatches late draw for Ospreys against Stormers
MATCH REPORT: Veteran flyhalf Stephen Myler kicked a late conversion to snatch a draw for hosts Ospreys against the defending-champion Stormers in filthy conditions in Swansea on Friday.
The pouring rain turned the game into a tactical chess match, with the teams scoring a converted try and three penalties each.
While the Stormers won the early exchanges, the Ospreys settled down and started to squeeze the visitors – forcing them into mistakes.
The men from Cape Town had looked to have secured the win, leading 16-9 with four minutes remaining.
However, a late rally saw Scott Baldwin barge over and 38-year-old Myler kicking the touchline conversion in testing conditions to secure the draw.
* To recap the drama, CLICK HERE!
Defending champions the Stormers dominated the opening period and took the lead with a penalty from Libbok.
During the first quarter, the Ospreys barely ventured into the opposition half, but the miserable conditions prevented their opponents from capitalising, despite a few powerful bursts from centre Dan du Plessis.
It was therefore left to Libbok to extend their advantage with a superbly struck penalty from inside his own half.
However, the Ospreys seemed to have the edge in the scrum, winning a couple of penalties, with Myler kicking one of them to put the Welsh region on the scoreboard.
That score buoyed the hosts to produce the best move of the half. Skilful handling sent George North away down the right flank before good ball retention created a try-scoring opportunity, but Keelan Giles could not gather a poor pass from Jac Morgan with the line beckoning.
As a result, the Stormers led 6-3 at the interval, but the home side controlled the early stages of the second half and drew level with a second penalty from Myler.
The game needed a spark and it came from an excellent move from the South Africans which resulted in the first try.
On halfway, an inside pass from Libbok sent Leolin Zas through a huge gap in the home defence before the wing sent De Wet racing over. Libbok converted to give his side a 13-6 lead going into the final quarter.
The Ospreys won another scrum penalty, which Myler kicked, but Libbok soon nullified this with his third success.
The game looked up for the hosts, but they conjured up a late rally, with replacement Baldwin finishing off a driving line-out to reward a period of pressure.
Player of the Match
It was veteran flyhalf Myler’s first game of the season and in difficult conditions, he showed unerring accuracy with the boot to earn his side a draw. He succeeded with all four kicks at goal, including a nerve-jangling conversion of Baldwin’s try with five minutes remaining.
Play of the match
In difficult conditions, the match was brought to life by a superb try from the Stormers. Libbok seized the opportunity to release Zas, with the wing outpacing the defence to send De Wet over for a crucial score.
Pens: Myler 3
For the Stormers
Try: De Wet
Pens: Libbok 3
Ospreys: 15 Max Nagy, 14 George North, 13 Owen Watkin, 12 Michael Collins, 11 Keelan Giles, 10 Stephen Myler, 9 Rhys Webb (captain), 8 Morgan Morris, 7 Jac Morgan, 6 Ethan Roots, 5 Alun Wyn Jones, 4 Adam Beard, 3 Tomas Francis, 2 Dewi Lake, 1 Nicky Smith.
Replacements: 16 Scott Baldwin, 17 Rhys Henry, 18 Tom Botha, 19 Rhys Davies, 20 Dan Lydiate, 21 Ruben Morgan Williams, 22 Jack Walsh, 23 Luke Morgan.
Stormers: 15 Clayton Blommetjies, 14 Angelo Davids, 13 Alapati Leuia, 12 Dan du Plessis, 11 Leolin Zas, 10 Manie Libbok, 9 Paul de Wet, 8 Evan Roos, 7 Hacjivah Dayimani, 6 Nama Xaba, 5 Marvin Orie, 4 Salmaan Moerat (captain), 3 Neethling Fouche, 2 Andre-Hugo Venter, 1 Allister Vermaak.
Replacements: 16 Joseph Dweba, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Brok Harris, 19 Ernst van Rhyn, 20 Marcel Theunissen, 21 Willie Engelbrecht, 22 Godlen Masimla, 23 Sacha Mngomezulu.
Referee: Gianluca Gnecchi (Italy)
Assistant referees: Aled Evans (Wales), Carwyn Williams (Wales)
TMO: Matteo Liperini (Italy)