Ospreys V Glasgow Warriors
Ospreys climbed to second in the Guinness PRO12 as two tries in two second-half minutes saw them come from behind to seal a 26-15 bonus-point victory over the Warriors at the Liberty Stadium. Scott Cummings drives forward in the defeat to the Ospreys
Both sides came into the match on the back of PRO12 defeats last weekend, and it was Ospreys who responded best as scores from Tyler Ardron and Kieron Fonotia helped them overturn a one-point deficit midway through the second period.
The Welsh hosts had raced into an early lead through Keelan Giles’ 12th try of the campaign and a Josh Matavesi effort but Glasgow responded through Corey Flynn and Peter Murchie, to edge 15-14 in front.
However, Ardron and Fonotia both completed impressive team moves to give Ospreys a first season double over their Scottish opponents since the 2008-09 campaign, having triumphed 22-5 back in Round 9.
Warriors head coach Gregor Townsend talked up his side’s ideal blend of youth and experience in the build-up to the clash but it was Ospreys’ young star Giles who opened the scoring on nine minutes.
Dan Evans found Dafydd Howells and he fed the 19-year-old Giles, who demonstrated his blazing pace to race over the whitewash from outside the 22 – Luke Price adding the extras.
The Welsh side continued to dominate the territory and 7-0 became 14-0 on 21 minutes as the impressive Ashley Beck made another initial burst into the 22 and, a few passes later, Matavesi found the gap to bundle over.
Price was again successful from the tee but Glasgow produced an almost instant response as they capitalised on an Ospreys knock-on in their own 22 to feed Flynn, who pushed his way across the whitewash.
Brandon Thomson nailed the conversion and, as the conditions became increasingly unhelpful for running rugby, the South African fly-half elected to take the points when Warriors were awarded a 46th-minute penalty to narrow the deficit to 14-10.
And they led for the first time with 30 minutes remaining when Murchie finished off some exquisite build-up play, which had started with a scintillating Rory Hughes break deep into the Ospreys 22.
But Steve Tandy’s troops have not lost successive matches at the Liberty Stadium since October 2015 and a quickfire try double midway through the second period ensured that record would remain intact.
Firstly, Canadian back-rower Ardron charged over the line underneath the posts to give the hosts the lead once again before Fonotia collected a gorgeous kick through and dotted down to establish an 11-point advantage, wrapping up the four-try bonus point in the process.
At 26-15 behind, the Warriors put concerted pressure on the Ospreys defence but the hosts held firm to leapfrog Munster in the Guinness PRO12 standings.
The Warriors host the Dragons at Scotstoun next Saturday (kick-off 3pm).