Ospreys 33-18 Connacht, Magners League, February 27
Ospreys cruise past Connacht
February 27, 2011
Richard Fussell scored one of the Ospreys' four tries
© PA Photos
The Ospreys moved second in the Magners League with a resounding 33-18 victory over Connacht at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday.
Replacement hooker Mefin Davies sealed the Ospreys' bonus point with a try five minutes into injury time but the home side, who were missing 25 players to international duty and a lengthening injury list, had to come back twice in the first-half before they could stamp their authority on the contest.
The Welsh region enjoyed the majority of the possession in the first period but trailed on two occasions - 3-0 and 8-3. Connacht took the lead in the third minute with a long range Ian Keatley penalty, following a lineout infringement.
For the next 20 minutes it was all Ospreys, although all they had to show for it was a short range Biggar drop-goal when a try looked certain to be coming their way. The hosts were then stunned by Connacht scoring a try from their first legitimate attack. Keatley's break set up wing Brian Tuohy, who put his captain Jonny O'Connor over in the right corner.
A golden opportunity of an Ospreys try went begging after centre Ashley Beck spilled Hanno Dirksen's pass with the line at his mercy but two Biggar penalties sandwiched a fine try for Richard Fussell, who ran a strong angle onto Beck's offload to score despite protestations that the pass was forward.
There was no such doubt about the Ospreys' second try three minutes into the second-half, which saw Wales wing Tom Prydie scorch in down the left touchline after good work from Fussell, Beck and Sonny Parker. It was then Parker who went in for the Ospreys' third try on 61 minutes after some good work by replacement prop Ryan Bevington.
The Ospreys lost their way for the next 15 minutes and were forced to defend before leaking a try by lock Mike Swift. The home side, however, regrouped and in a final push for the fourth try drove a five-metre line-out which saw 38-year-old Davies emerge from a pile of bodies having bagged the vital score.
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