Fixtures - Top Bar

Match Reaction: Ospreys 9 Saracens 21

Itoje

Saracens skills coach Joe Shaw is confident Ben Spencer is on track for an extended run in the first team after the scrum-half booted his side to LV= Cup victory over Ospreys.

In torrential rain at the Gnoll, Spencer landed seven penalties from nine attempts, scoring all the points as Saracens became only the second team to beat Ospreys this season in all competitions.

Veteran fly-half Nils Mordt proved the perfect foil as the half-back pairing pulled the strings behind a youthful Saracens pack that also exerted their dominance over the hosts.

The result makes it back-to-back wins for the Aviva Premiership Rugby side in this year’s LV= Cup, with Spencer also impressing in last weekend’s 25-20 victory over Harlequins.

And Shaw believes the 22-year-old has matured into a prodigious talent in all aspects of the game to match his stellar abilities off the tee.

“We are ecstatic about the victory because not many teams come down here and get a result,” said Shaw.

“We came down with a youthful team with a lot of lads who are from our academy and coupled with a few senior guys they all put in a heck of shift. We were deserved winners.

“It was torrential rain, and that’s what you expect when you come to South Wales at this time of year but the boys really stuck to the plan.

“I need to give a special mention to Ben Spencer as his kicking was red hot today, and I think the way he and Nils Mordt controlled the game in these conditions was superb.

“Ben is as good a kicker as I have ever seen. He is comfortable with both feet and he's an incredible goal kicker but he has other things to his game – he is incredibly quick.

“He's serving his apprenticeship at the moment but he's knocking on the door all the time. This game was another step in the right direction for him."

Ospreys came into the tie having secured their seventh win in as many games in the Pro12 this year but struggled to breach the Saracens defence despite the return of Welsh international centre Ashley Beck.

All nine of the hosts’ points came from the boot of fly-half Sam Davies but head coach Steve Tandy admits his team were always playing catch-up against a clinical Saracens side.

“Saracens did the simple things much better than we did. We did try to play but ultimately they played in the right areas," he said.

“They kept the scoreboard ticking but ultimately I didn't think the scoreline reflected the whole game.

“There were some good individual performances and the work rate was good throughout.

“But it's disappointing for these young players to lose in an Ospreys shirt. It's a learning experience and hopefully they will learn from some of the errors.”
 
Ospreys: Fussell; Howells (A Evans 68), Beck (Dirkson 61), Jenkins, Natoga; Davies, Habberfield (Tebaldi 67); G Thomas (N Thomas 56), Otten (Dwyer 63), Suter (M Thomas 56), Thornton, Hughes, Collier, L Evans, Boladau (Spinks 66)
Replacements not used: Bears
 
Sin bin: G Thomas 42
 
Saracens: Edwards (Gallagher 76); Wilson, Tompkins, Palamo (Wilkins 58), Perkins (Whiteley 66); Mordt, Spencer; Culverhouse, Sharman, Alo, Smith, Itoje, Thompson-Stringer, Hankin, De Jager
Replacements not used: Taylor, Adams-Hale, Ferreira, O’Neil, Featherstone
 
Sin bin: Perkins 19
 
Scorers
 
Ospreys
Penalties: Davies 3
 
Saracens
Penalties: Spencer 7
 
Referee: Matthew Carley
Attendance: 4,270

For your definitive guide to the LV= Cup click here 

Be part of the rugby family at the LV= Cup Final at Franklin's Gardens, Northampton on Sunday 22 March. Visit www.northamptonsaints.co.uk for tickets

Latest News

Gloucester Rugby confirm new deal for scrum-half Callum Braley

Ahead of this evening's fixture with La Rochelle, Gloucester Rugby are pleased to confirm the next re-signing for the 2017/18…

Callum Braley

Josh Beaumont backs Sale Sharks’ new boys to shine

Marquee summer signings AJ MacGinty and Josh Charnley are primed and ready to make their presence felt in the second…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Freddie Burns named Aviva Premiership Rugby Player of the Month for November 2016

Leicester Tigers’ outside-half Freddie Burns has “got his strut back” and this has led to him being named Aviva Premiership…

fburns-potm-0812

Match officials for this weekend’s European fixtures

Northampton Saints will face Leinster in a rematch of the memorable 2011 final as the European Rugby Champions Cup returns…

629845781DM00026_Saracens_v

Worcester Warriors ‘unlucky’ in defeat to Wasps, says Ryan Bower

Worcester Warriors prop Ryan Bower admits it was important for his side to put in a performance against Wasps after their humbling Aviva Premiership Rugby defeat…

Photo by Tony Marshall/Getty Images

In-form Henry Purdy desperate to keep improving at Gloucester Rugby

Henry Purdy is refusing to rest on his laurels and has vowed to push on hard, despite praise from all…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Max Clark the centre of attention at Bath Rugby

Back in September – just when Bath Rugby were beginning to count on him in the centres – an ill-timed…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Seven tries success for Exeter Braves over Bath United

Exeter Braves’ Shaun Malton and Levi Davis of Bath United became the first opponents since 2005 to both score hat-tricks…

Generated by  IJG JPEG Library

Worcester Warriors capture Samoa lock Chris Vui

Warriors have completed the signing of versatile Samoa forward Chris Vui till the end of the season. For everything you…

Chris Vui

Wallabies lock Will Skelton joins Saracens

Australian international forward Will Skelton has joined Saracens on a short-term deal. For everything you need to know about Saracens…

Will Skelton

Rowe hails ‘fantastic’ year for Exeter Chiefs

Exeter Rugby Club chairman and chief executive, Tony Rowe OBE, heralded a “fantastic” past year – on and off the…

Exeter Chiefs celebrate

Dan Tuohy joins Bristol Rugby with immediate effect

Dan Tuohy has penned a deal with Bristol Rugby to make the switch to Aviva Premiership Rugby with immediate effect.…

Dan Tuohy

Ally Hogg, Cooper Vuna, Aaron Morris, Lachlan Turner, Bryce Heem and Dan Robson head the Opta Rugby Rankings

Attacks dominated as Newcastle Falcons claimed a dramatic win over Harlequins this weekend in Premiership Rugby but Ally Hogg starred…

allyhogg16sb1111

Premiership Rugby backs Newcastle’s bid for 2018 European Rugby Cup Finals

Premiership Rugby today confirmed its “100% support” for Newcastle’s bid to become host city for European club rugby union's showpiece…

Newcastle Falcons celebrate

Newcastle launches bid for 2018 European Rugby Cup finals

Newcastle is bidding to become the host city for European club rugby union's showpiece weekend in May 2018. The aim…

Newcastle Falcons celebrate

Aviva Premiership Rugby wrap: Round 10

Maro Itoje could not mark his return to a Saracens jersey with a victory – but his director of rugby…

BATH, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 03:  Maro Itoje of  Saracens is tackled by Max Lahiff of Bath during the Aviva Premiership match between Bath Rugby and Saracens at the Recreation Ground on December 3, 2016 in Bath, England.  (Photo by Michael Steele/Getty Images)

Pat Lam confirmed as Bristol Rugby head coach

Bristol Rugby is delighted to announce the appointment of Pat Lam as the Club’s new Head Coach. The 48 year-old…

Pat Lam

Newcastle Falcons v Saracens kick-off time change

Premiership Rugby can confirm that the kick-off time for the Aviva Premiership Rugby Round 17 Newcastle Falcons v Saracens fixture…

Aviva Premiership ball