Gloucester 23-13 Ospreys: Carreras Kicks Cherry & Whites into Challenge Cup Semi-Final - Ruck

Gloucester 23-13 Ospreys: Carreras Kicks Cherry & Whites into Challenge Cup Semi-Final

By Etienne Turpin

Gloucester were the first side to qualify for the Challenge Cup semi final with a narrow 10 point win over the Ospreys on Friday night. Los Pumas fullback Santiago Carreras kicked five penalties to help his side to victory. The Ospreys began sharply and scored a great try through Keelan Giles but the English outfit had too much power in the end.

The Ospreys welcomed back hooker Sam Parry who missed last Saturday’s round of 16 clash with Sale Sharks in Bridgend which was their only change to the 23 with Lewis Lloyd shifting back to the bench.

Carreras opened the scoring after seven minutes with a simple penalty after the Ospreys were penalised for being slow at rolling away at a ruck. The Argentine fullback has been a key figure for the cherry and whites this season, featuring almost every game since the Rugby World Cup.

The first real opportunity for the Ospreys came just after the tenth minute when they chose to go for a lineout rather than take the shot at goal. Williams found touch brilliantly, close to the Gloucester line but they unfortunately made a mess of the lineout. The Ospreys had also lost their last lineout.

But minutes later the Ospreys scored a classy try when Jack Walsh made a break from his own half. Spotting Ludlow in front of him, he burnt him on the outside before serving the rapid Keelan Giles who scored under the posts to give the Ospreys the lead.

The lead was narrowed when Carreras slotted over another penalty in front of the posts after Gloucester were awarded a scrum penalty. Gloucester were missing Val Rapava-Ruskin but still boasted a powerful front-row. The four-point lead was restored minutes later however when the Ospreys were awarded a penalty in the Gloucester half.

Gloucester eventually got their try on the half hour mark from a powerful driving maul. They initially lost possession from their previous lineout maul but dominated the Ospreys scrum to win back the penalty, and this time around, they weren’t getting stopped. From the touchline, Carreras was unsuccessful with his conversion, but Gloucester retook the lead.

And when Gloucester were awarded a penalty three minutes later, Carreras made no mistake from the tee, extending his sides lead to four-points.

The Ospreys had the last say in the first and were awarded a penalty when Gloucester collapsed a driving maul. With the clock in the red, Williams stepped up to make it a one-point game at half time.

The first points of the second half were scored after 10 minutes when the Ospreys were deemed to have gone off their feet trying to turn the ball over. Carreras was successful from directly in front of the posts as the home side restored their four-point lead in this quarter final.

A Williams penalty five minutes could have made it a one-point game, but he unfortunately hit the post, his first miss of the evening. The Ospreys had a big opportunity beforehand when Luke Morgan made a break into the Gloucester half after Varney had stripped Kieran Williams.

Gloucester would punish the Ospreys for this miss as they and Santiago Carreras were successful with their shot at goal moments later, giving Gloucester a seven-point advantage. The biggest of the match so far. Which was then extended to 10 points with another successful Carreras penalty. The home side had a two-score lead with just under 15 minutes remaining.

With time running out, the Ospreys began making silly errors. Firstly, Adam Beard threw a pass that travelled two metres forward and then two consecutive knock ons which gave Gloucester attacking ball just outside the Ospreys half with less than five minutes to go.

With the clock entering the red, the Ospreys almost scored a consolation try after a quick tap from Davies and quick feet from Owen Watkin to avoid numerous tackles. Morgan Morris then found himself with a three on one, but his pass was intercepted by Jonny May who almost got away from the Ospreys defence but was hauled down on half way before Varney said enough is enough and booted the ball out to send Gloucester into the semi finals where they will host either Benetton or Connacht.

Gloucester: 23

TRIES: 1 (Blake 31’)


PENALTIES: 6 (Carreras 6’, 19’, 34’, 50’, 61’ 66’)




15. Santiago Carreras, 14. Jonny May, 13. Max Llewellyn, 12. Seb Atkinson, 11. Jake Morris, 10. Adam hastings, 9.  Stephen Varney, 1. Jamal Ford-Robinson, 2. Seb Blake, 3. Kirill Gotovtsev, 4. Freddie Clarke, 5. Freddie Thomas, 6. Ruan Ackermann, 7. Lewis Ludlow, 8. Zach Mercer.

16. Santiago Socino, 17. Mayco Vivas, 18. Fraser Balmain, 19. Albert Tuisue, 20. Jack Clement, 21. Caolan Engelfield, 22. Charlie Atkinson, 23. Chris Harris.

Ospreys: 13

TRIES: 1 (Giles 14’)

CONVERSIONS: 1 (Williams 15’)

PENALTIES: 2 (Williams 23’, 40’)




15. Jack Walsh, 14. Luke Morgan, 13. Keiran Williams, 12. Owen Watkin, 11. Keelan Giles, 10. Owen Williams, 9. Reuben Morgan-Williams, 1. Gareth Thomas, 2. Sam Parry, 3. Tom Botha, 4. James Ratti, 5. Adam Beard, 6. Harri Deaves, 7. Justin Tipuric, 8. Morgan Morris.

16. Lewis Lloyd, 17. Nicky Smith, 18. Rhys Henry, 19. Huw Sutton, 20. Morgan Morse, 21. Luke Davies, 22. Dan Edwards, 23. Max Nagy

Five Talking Points

  1. Ospreys set piece struggles.

The Ospreys had enjoyed plenty of success this season with their set pieces but struggled to get going against Gloucester with numerous lineouts being lost. The home side also dominated the scrums, a weapon utilised by the Ospreys in recent games.

2. Keelan Giles on scoresheet once again.

The young speedster scored the first try of the game and once again showed his pace to get away from attempted tackles. The try was created by fullback Jack Walsh who evaded the tackle of Carreras before getting past Ludlow and setting up his winger nicely to get his eight try of the season.

3. Carreras boot sends Gloucester through

The fullback went five from six to help his side to a 10-point victory with his only miss coming from a difficult touchline conversion. The fullback had a solid shift covering the backline well throughout.

4. “We didn’t show our best tonight” – Toby Booth and Ospreys rue missed opportunities.

Ospreys head coach showed his disappointment at the end of the game knowing that his side had plenty more to show. Recent performances from the Ospreys showed that they are capable of beating anyone on their day but made too many errors tonight and were punished for it.

5. Ospreys turn attention to South Africa.

The Ospreys now turn their attention to South Africa as they travel for two games in the United Rugby Championship against the Stormers and the Bulls. The two dominant teams this season. Back-to-back wins against the Lions in both Swansea and Johannesburg will give the Ospreys hope that they can cause an upset or two.