Ospreys ease past Leinster
September 2, 2011
Ospreys fly-half Dan Biggar landed a penalty, a drop goal and three conversions in Swansea
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The Ospreys began their bid for RaboDirect PRO12 glory with a surprisingly facile 27-3 victory over last year's runners-up Leinster at the Liberty Stadium on Friday night.
The Ospreys made a rip-roaring start, with Rhys Webb crossing after just over 60 seconds of play, and the scrum-half's try was complemented by further touchdowns from Hanno Dirkson and Justin Tiipuric as the hosts reached the interval 27-3 ahead.
And, remarkably, that's the way it stayed, with Ospreys settling for four points and Leinster failing miserably to add to a solitary first-half penalty from fly-half Mat Berquist.
It did not take long for the Ospreys, who finished fourth last season, to get their campaign rolling with the first try of the season. It was started and finished by scrum-half Webb after two minutes, who deservedly went on to get the man-of-the-match award. He picked up from a ruck and, after the ball passed through the hands of centres Ashley Beck and Andrew Bishop, the No.9 finished it off in the corner from 10 metres.
Outside-half Dan Biggar, who had booted the try conversion, increased the home lead with a penalty before video referee Neil Ballard ruled out a possible touchdown from big No.8 Jonathan Thomas as the Welsh international back-row had not put the ball over the line.
However, there was no stopping the Welshmen as Leinster made little impression. They took a good 17-0 advantage when wing Dirksen, who was involved in the build-up to Thomas' effort, dived in at the left corner. This time, Ballard looked at the replay and decided Dirksen did not put a foot in touch and awarded the touchdown that Biggar converted brilliantly.
It was one-way traffic as Biggar added a 15-metre drop-goal before Leinster stand-off Berquist eventually got his side off the mark with a close-range penalty.
The Ospreys struck again before the interval when Webb broke from a ruck and chipped over the head of the defence for flanker and captain Tipuric to grab and dive over. Biggar converted and, at the break, it already looked like game over as the Ospreys led by a staggering 24 points.
Leinster eventually woke up and got over the line after 50 minutes but McLaughlin's try effort was ruled out by video referee Ballard.
Tipuric did not help his side's cause by being shown a yellow card for a ruck offence but the Irishmen failed to take advantage and score while he was off the pitch. Leinster were their own worst enemies too as they were turned over when in good attacking positions.
As neither side was able to score by any means in the second half, the only disappointment for the Ospreys was that they could not find a fourth try for a bonus point.
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