Ospreys 33-29 Cardiff – Judgement Day victory claims Ospreys a spot in the URC Playoffs - Ruck

Ospreys 33-29 Cardiff – Judgement Day victory claims Ospreys a spot in the URC Playoffs

By Etienne Turpin

A five try victory for the Ospreys today sees them set up a quarter final clash against Munster who finished top of the URC table. Tries from Nicky Smith and Tipuric helped the region claim a big victory as the Ospreys recorded a season double over Cardiff

The Ospreys came into this game knowing that a bonus point win would see them leapfrog the Lions into eight spot after both the Lions and Edinburgh’s results benefitted the Welsh region. And they got off to a dream start when the departing Nicky Smith crashed over from close range.

But Cardiff replied instantly with a brilliant first phase moves when de Beer held his pass before opening the space for Cabango who beat Giles one on one to score in the corner. It required assistance from the TMO but replays showed that the young winger stayed out of touch and grounded the ball beautifully. Tinus de Beer also nailed the sideline conversion to level the scores.

But Cardiff were dealt a big blow when Cabango injured himself after slipping on the wet pitch when he chased his own kick and chase. Cabango was one of many players slipping on the surface.

The game went stale for a long period of the half but a quick tap from Tipuric resulted in a fantastic try for the Ospreys which he finished off himself. The game suddenly opened up and Giles glided past a couple of Cardiff defenders before popping the ball to Edwards who flicked it to Tipuric to score in the corner.

Grady came close to scoring for Cardiff but eventually got his try on the stroke of half time after Winnett found Evan Lloyd with a beautiful pass before Ben Thomas showed great strength to get close to the line and all Grady had to do was collect his offload and dot the ball down. The conversion flew wide but the game was all tied up at the break.

Cardiff suffered a double blow early on in the second half when Nicky Smith barged his way over for his second try of the game, and the Ospreys third as they pushed for a bonus point try. Ben Donnell was also sent to the sin bin after Cardiff committed too many infringements.

Cardiff reduced the gap to four points thanks to a Ben Thomas penalty but were unable to close the gap further when another Thomas penalty minutes later went wide of the posts.

With just over 15 minutes to play, the Ospreys got their crucial bonus point try when Luke Morgan collected Edwards’ lovely flat pass to have a walk in. as it stood, the Ospreys would move up to eight. Edwards nailed the conversion to give the Ospreys an 11-point lead.

But Cardiff once again took no time to reply and Hamer-Webb who came narrowly close to scoring a try two minutes prior, finally got over after brilliant work from Ben Thomas set up the replacement winger to give Cardiff hope. Ben Thomas nailed the sideline conversion to make it a four-point match.

Cardiff would end the game with two players short as lock Seb Davies was sent off with less than five minutes to go when he led with the shoulder and made contact with Owen Watkins head. With three points not enough to secure the win, the Ospreys went to the corner and were awarded a penalty try as Cardiff collapsed a powerful driving maul. Rory Thornton was shown a yellow for the collapsing on the maul.

The Ospreys were also reduced a man with 90 seconds to go with scrum half Luke Davies sent to the bin for slowing down a ruck after Cardiff came close to replying immediately again. However, it wouldn’t take long for them to get over the try line as Mason Grady powered over for his second of the evening to give Cardiff two bonus points from the game however, the Ospreys had done enough to secure a play off spot.

Ospreys: 33

TRIES: 5 (Smith 6’, 48’, Tipuric 30’, Morgan 64’, Penalty Try 77’)

CONVERSIONS: 4 (Edwards 7’,49’, 65’, Penalty Try 77’)





15. Max Nagy, 14. Luke Morgan, 13. Owen Watkin, 12. Kieran Williams, 11. Keelan Giles, 10. Dan Edwards, 9. Reuben Morgan-Williams, 1. Nicky Smith, 2. Dewi Lake, 3. Tom Botha, 4. James Ratti, 5. Huw Sutton, 6. Jac Morgan, 7. Justin Tipuric, 8. Morgan Morris.

16. Sam Parry, 17. Gareth Thomas, 18. Rhys Henry, 19. Victor Sekekete, 20. Harri Deaves, 21. Luke Davies, 22. Owen Williams, 23. Harri Houston.

Cardiff: 29

TRIES: 4 (Cabango 8’, Grady 40’, 80’, Hamer-Webb 69’)

CONVERSIONS: 3 (de Beer 9’, Thomas 70’, 80)

PENALTIES: 1 (Thomas 54’)


YELLOW CARDS: 2 (Donnell 48’, Thornton 77’)

RED CARDS: 1 (Davies 76’)

15. Cam Winnett, 14. Theo Cabango, 13. Rey Lee-lo, 12. Ben Thomas, 11. Mason Grady, 10. Tinus de Beer, 9. Ellis Bevan, 1. Rhys Carre, 2. Evan Lloyd, 3. Keiron Assiratti, 4. Shane Lewis-Hughes, 5. Rory Thornton, 6. Ben Donnell, 7. James Botham, 8. Alun Lawrence.

16. Efan Daniel, 17. Corey Domachowski, 18. Rhys Litterick, 19. Seb Davies, 20. Lopeti Timani, 21. Willis Halaholo, 22. Jacob Beetham, 23. Gabriel Hamer-Webb

Five Talking Points: Ospreys 33-29 Cardiff

  1. Ospreys qualify for the URC play offs.

The Ospreys needed a Bonus point victory today after results went their way in the final round of the URC season and they managed just that as they claimed a five try win. Cardiff made it tough for them, but they showed their class as they leapfrogged the Lions into the playoffs. They now face Munster in Limerick next week.

2. Multiple farewells for Cardiff

Cardiff’s season was already finished before the game ended but it the last game for many players including Welsh international Willis Halaholo who was a fan favourite during his time at Cardiff. The powerful centre is set to return to New Zealand for next season.

3. Cardiff’s poor discipline.

Cardiff ended the season poorly with three cards in the second half. They will be disappointed with that as they were level at the break, but numerous infringements resulted in two sin bins and a shoulder charge from the replacement Seb Davies meant that the lock saw red on the final game of the season.

4. Gatland in attendance before Australia tour

The Welsh coaching staff were in attendance for todays Judgement Day as they prepare for Wales four games down under (including a match against the Reds). Despite hardly any Ospreys making the Welsh Six Nations squad, their second half of the season should see a number of players finally get rewarded.

5. Nicky Smith ending on a high.

Nicky Smith who has close to 200 Ospreys appearances will be heading across to Leicester Tigers next season but his two tries today were crucial for the Ospreys as they sealed a playoff spot. The veteran prop will be hoping to play three more games for the Ospreys.