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Match Report: Ospreys 20 Bristol Rugby 14

28 Jan 2017
Match Report: Ospreys 20 Bristol Rugby 14

Sam Underhill’s late scored condemned Bristol Rugby to a second Anglo-Welsh Cup defeat of the season as Ospreys took the honours with one of the last plays of the game.

The home side had raced out of the traps as Dafydd Howells scored within a minute, though Max Crumpton’s try kept the game tight by the break.

And it seemed that, after a second Luke Price penalty, Bristol would take the spoils as Marc Jones crashed over, Billy Searle’s conversion giving them a slender lead.

But Underhill barged his way over to give the Welsh side the victory, with the Aviva Premiership Rugby side only able to claim a losing bonus point.

It was a disastrous start for the visitors at Brewery Field, conceding in just 53 seconds as Howells carved his way through the middle to score, converted by Luke Price.

Needing to find their feet quickly, Bristol were once again on the back-foot but resolution in defence held up a home side enjoying a triumphant ten minutes.

Soon after the pressure told, with quick Ospreys work forcing a penalty for Price to slot through the posts, putting his side 10-0 up in the process.

But from there, Mark Tainton’s charges took the game to Ospreys, though it took until 17 minutes to finally get into the 22 – and from there came their first score of the afternoon.

Hitting the charge from a lineout, hooker Crumpton stole the march to dot down for his side, a much-needed score for the visitors bidding for their second victory of the tournament.

That score seemed to shift the momentum of the game heading towards the end of the half, though strong attack was met with resolute defence as the half ended without further score, Bristol trailing 10-7.

That was not without effort for the visitors, with Billy Searle missing a penalty on the cusp of the half-time whistle, a kick which would have seen his side draw level in the match.

In need of a strong start to the second half, Bristol certainly got the response, earning a penalty within moments of the restart, an attack which also saw Ben John head to the Ospreys’ sin-bin.

Yet despite numerical superiority the Aviva Premiership Rugby side were not quite able to convert territory into points as scrum penalties went against them in their bid for the line.

It was only a matter of time before Ospreys would regroup, and it almost came to fruition as Jay Baker raced to the line, only to fall short of reaching the ball.

Another Price penalty put his side six points ahead heading into the final 20 minutes, with Bristol knowing just one converted score could see them take the spoils.

And it seemed that effort came when Jones bundled his way over at the third time of asking, the hosts’ defence finally cracking under the pressure of an onslaught. Searle’s conversion ensured the visitors had a late lead.

It looked that the game would stay that way, only for Underhill to crash over in the closing stages, consigning Bristol to defeat.

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