Guinness PRO12
Ospreys beat Blues, Connacht stun Munster
PA Sport
November 28, 2015
Alun Wyn Jones
Alun Wyn Jones© Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images

A try from skipper Alun Wyn Jones helped Ospreys come from behind to win the Guinness PRO12 derby clash against Cardiff Blues at a rain-lashed Liberty Stadium.

Blues, who claimed a losing bonus point in the 13-6 defeat but have not won in Swansea since 2005, were leading 6-0 through two Jarrod Evans penalties before Jones squeezed over. Sam Davies, having replaced an injured Dan Biggar at half-time, capped an influential performance with eight points with the boot.

Ospreys went into the game without Wales front-row forwards Paul James (calf) and Scott Baldwin (shoulder) as well as Fiji centre Josh Matavesi, who failed to pass a head injury assessment. Blues hooker Matthew Rees was suspended while fly-half Rhys Patchell has not recovered from concussion.

Evans, 19, came in for his first PRO12 start for the Blues in place of Patchell and scored the only points of the first half with a seventh-minute penalty after the Ospreys were penalised for not releasing at a ruck. But though Blues led 3-0 at the interval in rainy and blustery conditions Ospreys had the better of the territory in the first 40 minutes.

Blues suffered a major blow when Wales captain Sam Warburton left the field with an ankle injury in the 32nd minute but they finished the half the stronger and would have doubled their lead two minutes from time had fly-half Evans not missed with his second penalty attempt.

Ospreys started the second half without Biggar, who was replaced by Davies, and he had an immediate impact with a series of kicks to the corner and missed a 42nd-minute penalty. Evans boosted Blues' chances with a near 50-metre penalty after 50 minutes but after that it was all Ospreys as Jones got the ball on the tryline by the posts for a converted try.

And from then on in Ospreys played territorial tactics with Davies kicking penalties on 70 and 78 minutes.

Later on Saturday, Guinness PRO12 leaders Connacht claimed their first competitive win at Thomond Park since 1986 as Bundee Aki's acrobatic late try sealed an 18-12 success against Munster.

Man-of-the-match Aki's diving one-handed finish in the left corner with three minutes left was an apt way for Connacht to finish on a night when they wore superhero 'Green Lantern' jerseys - a tie-in with their kit suppliers BLK and DC Comics. Pat Lam's men played almost all of the rugby in the first half, their execution and intensity far superior to Munster's as Tiernan O'Halloran's opportunist 17th-minute try gave them a deserved 10-5 interval lead.

Munster, who answered back with a Niall Scannell maul try, made notable improvements to their play in the third quarter, but a 33-metre penalty from Craig Ronaldson edged Connacht further in front. The westerners then suffered the double blow of a 65th-minute penalty try and a sin-binning for their captain John Muldoon for pulling back Andrew Conway in a try-scoring situation.

However, Lam's side showed impressive resilience in defence before Robbie Henshaw's excellent offload out of a tackle sent Aki through for the clinching five-pointer.

© PA Sport

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