Ospreys 23-15 Sale: Ospreys hold off Sharks to Claim First ever European Knockout Win - Ruck

Ospreys 23-15 Sale: Ospreys hold off Sharks to Claim First ever European Knockout Win

By Etienne Turpin

The Ospreys defeated Sale Sharks in Bridgend on Saturday night, to record their first ever Challenge Cup knockout win. Tries from Morgan Morris, Keelan Giles and Reuben Morgan-Williams set up a clash against Gloucester next week in the quarter-finals.

Sale opened the scoring after four minutes through the boot of Du Preez, a simple penalty in front of the posts after a dangerous start by the English side as the rain began to pour down in Bridgend.

But the Ospreys won a scrum penalty soon after and had the chance to level the scores, but the distance was too much for Owen Williams and the ball landed just short of the sticks.

Sale Sharks came close to opening the scoring when they shifted the ball to the left putting Reed into space but great covering defence from the Ospreys stopped them. They came close again shortly after but were held up over the line.

The Ospreys scrum dominance carried on in the first and were awarded a kickable penalty just inside the Sale half. This time around, Williams was successful and levelled the scores despite the difficult conditions in South Wales

The Ospreys scored the first try just after the half hour mark when a couple of quick tap-ons from Williams and Jack Walsh. Owen Watkins then passed it to Morgan Morris for a run in. A nice step inside to beat the final defender and the big number eight crossed over. Williams was unsuccessful with the conversion.

The Ospreys looked to get another try before half time when Owen Williams found touch brilliantly but despite numerous phases of play, Sale held on and at half time, the Ospreys led by five points.

The Ospreys extracted their lead early in the second half when Keelan Giles broke free on the left wing following a determined driving maul. Scrum-half Morgan-Williams floated a delightful pass to the winger who popped the ball back inside to his 10 who offloaded it back to Giles. The conversion was unsuccessful, but the Ospreys led by 10 points.

They added the third try instantly after when scrum-half Reuben Morgan Williams intercepted a Rob Du Preez pass on the 10-metre line. The conversion under the posts was successful and the Ospreys suddenly had a 17-point lead.

Sale gave themselves a glimmer of hope when Aaron Reed finished a lovely move and left Jack Walsh for dead before flying into the corner. Du Preez was unsuccessful with his conversion.

That try looked to have inspired Sale as they crossed for their second try minutes later from a driving maul. It required TMO assistance to determine whether Ben Curry hand grounded the ball, but Sale were back within seven.

But they were penalised for being offside after a kick and Owen Williams stepped up to attempt and give his side some breathing space, but his attempt was short, and Sale cleared. The Ospreys sealed the win moments later though when Owen Williams nailed a penalty to give the Ospreys an eight-point lead with minutes remaining.

Ospreys: 23

TRIES: 3 (Morris 32’, Giles 46’, Morgan -Williams 47’)

CONVERSIONS: 1 (Williams 48’)

PENALTIES: 2 (Williams 27’, 79’)




15. Jack Walsh, 14. Luke Morgan, 13. Kieran 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

Sale Sharks: 15

TRIES: 2 (Reed 63’, Curry 72’)

CONVERSIONS: 1 (Du Preez 73’)

PENALTIES: 1 (Du Preez 4’)




15. Telusa Veainu, 14. Aaron Reed, 13. Sam James, 12. Rekeiti Ma’asi-White, 11. Tom O’Flaherty, 10. Rob Du Preez, 9. Raffi Quirke, 1. Ross Harrison, 2. Agustin Creevy, 3. Asher Opoku-Fordjour 4. Ben Bamber, 5. Hyron Andrews, 6. Ben Curry, 7. Sam Dugdale, 8. Jean-Luc Du Preez

16. Tommy Taylor, 17. Simon McIntyre, 18. James Harper, 19. Tom Ellis, 20. Cam Neild, 21. Nye Thomas, 22. Connor Doherty, 23. Alex Wills


  1. First Knockout win for Ospreys in Europe.

Victory against Sale today was the Ospreys’ first ever victory in the knockout stages of European rugby. Two tries early in the second half helped the Ospreys gain a lead big enough to claim a famous victory.

2. Brilliant Brewery Field Atmosphere.

The Ospreys took a fixture to Bridgend for the second time in 2024 following their successful trip last time out against Cardiff. Another strong turnout and a brilliant atmosphere with fans making noise throughout the 80 minutes. It was also the first time that European rugby was played in Bridgend since 2004. A crowd of just under 5000 was announced but the smaller venue made it sound like a lot more.

3. Ospreys set up Gloucester tie next week.

Gloucester’s five-point win over Castres on Friday night meant that the Ospreys would be travelling to England next weekend. The Cherry and Whites also held off a second half fightback to seal their place in the Challenge Cup Quarter finals. The two sides have faced off eight times with the Ospreys winning three times.

4. Ospreys players putting their hands up for Wales selection.

Only 4 Ospreys made the Wales squad for the 2024 Six Nations but their form over the last five months suggests that they’re ready for international rugby. Scrum-half Morgan-Williams brilliantly read du Preez’s pass which he intercepted early in the second half which turned out to be the games winning try. Morgan Morris put in another solid performance at 8, scoring a nice try too.

5. Ospreys pack continues to dominate.

The Ospreys have built a reputation in recent weeks of having a powerful scrum and it proved to be once again as they won multiple scrum penalties in the first half despite being up against a powerful Sale front row which included Argentina centurion Agustin Creevy.