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RaboDirect PRO12: Ospreys consolitate play-off spot after beating Cardiff

Last updated: 30th March 2013   Subscribe to RSS Feed

Leigh Halfpenny Cardiff Blues

Leigh Halfpenny: scored all of the Blues' 16 points at the Millennium Stadium

James King Ospreys 2011

James King: Scored the Ospreys' first try in Saturday's victory over Cardiff Blues

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Ospreys kept alive their hopes of retaining the RaboDirect PRO12 title with a battling 23-16 win over the Cardiff Blues at the Millennium Stadium.

Having seen the Scarlets surprisingly miss out on a bonus point against the lowly Dragons in the first match of this Millennium Stadium double-header, the Ospreys knew a win would consolidate their position in the play-offs.

However, it was not that straightforward as the Blues went ahead with a superbly constructed try.

The ball was spread along the line for skipper Gavin Evans to burst down the left touchline, feed inside to Harry Robinson and watch as the recent Six Nations Player of the Tournament, Leigh Halfpenny, raced in for a touchdown he then converted from wide out.

Halfpenny's Wales colleague Dan Biggar pulled back three points with a close-range penalty, but missed from the halfway line after the Blues' suspect scrum had offended under pressure.

There was a further blow for the Ospreys when they lost international lock Ian Evans to a leg injury, but within a minute they had taken the lead. Flanker James King burst through a gap to speed over on the left, Biggar converting.

No mistake

Halfpenny slotted another penalty to level the scores, but the Blues were again pinged at the scrum and this time Biggar made no mistake. And within a minute the visitors - it was officially a Blues home game - scored their second try.

Number eight Jonathan Thomas sent Justin Tipuric surging down the right touchline and, although Halfpenny bravely stopped his gallop, the ball was moved left. Full-back Richard Fussell and centre Ashley Beck freed Jonathan Spratt, who was able to touch down despite a desperate last-ditch attempted tackle by Rhys Patchell. Biggar added the extras.

The Ospreys opened the second half with a period of steady pressure, but the Blues' defence survived and they moved downfield for Halfpenny to cut the deficit with a well-struck penalty. He added another from almost the same spot, before Biggar, inexplicably, missed an easy kick at the other end.

A Biggar cross-kick was acrobatically won by Lions captaincy candidate Alun Wyn Jones, who fed Spratt, but the Ospreys knocked on and the opportunity was lost.

The Blues conceded a penalty at the scrum, but the Ospreys opted for a reset rather than take the easy kick, a decision proved wrong when Biggar, having a mixed game, failed to gather a pass and possession was lost.

When the situation was repeated, the Ospreys played it safe and Biggar duly claimed the three points. It proved enough to secure the spoils.

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Guinness PRO12 Table

Guinness PRO12 Table - August 29 2014
Pos Team P Pts
12 Zebre 0 0
Forthcoming Guinness PRO12 Fixtures
TimeFixture
Guinness PRO12
Friday 5th September
Guinness PRO12
19:35Munster vs Edinburgh
19:35Ospreys vs Benetton Treviso
Saturday 6th September
14:40Scarlets vs Ulster
17:00Connacht vs Newport Gwent D'gons
17:15Glasgow vs Leinster
Sunday 7th September
17:00Zebre vs Cardiff Blues
Friday 12th September
19:35Ulster vs Zebre
19:35Edinburgh vs Connacht
19:35Newport Gwent D'gons vs Ospreys
20:00Benetton Treviso vs Munster
Saturday 13th September
14:40Leinster vs Scarlets
Sunday 14th September
16:00Cardiff Blues vs Glasgow
Friday 19th September
19:30Munster vs Zebre
19:35Connacht vs Leinster
19:35Cardiff Blues vs Ulster
Saturday 20th September
TBCScarlets vs Benetton Treviso
14:40Newport Gwent D'gons vs Glasgow
Sunday 21st September
16:00Ospreys vs Edinburgh
Friday 26th September
19:35Leinster vs Cardiff Blues
19:35Glasgow vs Connacht
19:35Edinburgh vs Scarlets
Saturday 27th September
16:00Zebre vs Ulster
18:30Munster vs Ospreys
Sunday 28th September
16:00Newport Gwent D'gons vs Benetton Treviso
Friday 3rd October
19:35Ulster vs Edinburgh

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