Ospreys 10 – 28 Glasgow Warriors
It was an evening to forget at the Liberty Stadium for home side Ospreys. Error after error and a tame start by their usually fearsome pack gifted possession and momentum to Glasgow.
A long kick down field and a brilliant take from DTH van der Merwe saw him easily slip an Ospreys tackle to race down the length of the pitch to score. Ospreys wing Dirksen would have been better served to have chased back to stop a try, instead of complaining at the officials about a suspected block that wasn’t.
The first half got progressively worse for the Ospreys as any attempt to form an attack was easily nullified by a superb Glasgow defensive display, and a standout performance from no 7 Chris Fusaro helped momentum stay with the visitors.
Pressure from Glasgow soon told when the Ospreys had a defensive scrum close to their line. Webb spilled the ball, and bafflingly he turned to appeal to the referee to claim he had been interfered with. Glasgow, rightly playing to the whistle, scooped up the loose ball and crossed easily for a try, breaking through the tackle of prop Aaron Jarvis.
The game continued to stutter in an error strewn affair, with Glasgow adding an extra 3. Half time came with the home side trailing 15 – 0.
The Ospreys started the second half with the passion and commitment that they had failed to show in the first, yet despite an increase in possession and territory, they failed to convert any of their chances. Then in a period of defending, Webb obstructed an attacking Glasgow player and was duly sent to the bin. He was replaced by Kahn Fotuali’i when his ten minutes were up.
The introduction of squad captain Alun Wyn Jones to the pitch gave the Ospreys the drive they needed to finally get points on the board. A strong driving maul resulted in a Glasgow yellow card for James Eddie when it was brought down just short and a few phases later Ian Evans was able to crash over to score. Dan Biggar converted.
No sooner had they scored when Glasgow hit back with a second try for DTH van de Merwe. Hibbard looked to have done enough in tackling him low, but he was not held and showing great strength and awareness he crossed for a well taken try, with Weir again converting.
The game moved into a period for the Ospreys’ dominance in territory and Glasgow had to defend fiercely to keep them out, with Fusaro again key to slowing the Ospreys’ game down. They did not help themselves when time and again they chose the wrong option and wasted numerous overlaps, failing to take their chances.
Going into the last ten minutes the home side had only managed to snatch another three points and Glasgow started to dominate once more. Replacement fly half Jackson slotted over a further three points. The home fans were left disappointed by a despondent Ospreys performance and Glasgow ended up deserving winners. Having won the battle of the breakdown and with such a committed and assured defensive display the extra clinical edge has certainly restored pride to the shirt of the Warriors.
Full time: Ospreys 10 – 28 Glasgow
Referee: Leo Colgan
Ospreys: Richard Fussell; Hanno Dirksen, Jonathan Spratt, Ashley Beck, Tom Grabham; Dan Biggar, Rhys Webb; Duncan Jones, Richard Hibbard, Aaron Jarvis, Ian Gough, Ian Evans, George Stowers, Justin Tipuric (capt), Joe Bearman.
Replacements: Scott Baldwin, Ryan Bevington, Joe Rees, Alun Wyn Jones, Sam Lewis, Kahn Fotuali’i, Matthew Morgan, Andrew Bishop.
Glasgow Warriors: Peter Murchie; Tommy Seymour, Alex Dunbar, Peter Horne, DTH van der Merwe; Duncan Weir, Chris Cusiter; Ryan Grant, Dougie Hall, Mike Cusack, Tom Ryder, Ali Kellock (capt), John Barclay, Chris Fusaro, Ryan Wilson.
Replacements: Finlay Gillies, George Hunter, Gordon Reid, James Eddie, Angus Macdonald, Henry Pyrgos, Ruaridh Jackson, Sean Lamont.