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Ospreys 37 Sale Sharks 36

31 Jan 2014
Ospreys 37 Sale Sharks 36

A last-gasp Sam Davies conversion left Sale Sharks’ LV= Cup hopes hanging in the balance as the Ospreys edged out a 37-36 victory at Bridgend Ford Brewery Field.

Sale headed to Wales knowing that a bonus-point victory would see them advance into the final four of the LV= Cup.

And after Viliami Fihaki set them on their way with a try after two minutes the Aviva Premiership side looked like doing exactly that as the Tongan wrapped up his hat-trick before the interval.

Charlie Ingall and Mike Haley also got in on the act but late Sharks sin-binnings for replacements Marc Jones and Ross Harrison proved costly as Ospreys came roaring back.

Winger Aisea Natoga helped himself to a hat-trick as well, the last of which saw Davies hold his nerve with the conversion, sending it over with time up to lift Ospreys to the narrowest of victories.

There were just two minutes on the clock when Fihaki went over for his first try of the night, Joe Ford converting for an early 7-0 lead for the Sharks.

However hosts Ospreys were not about to lie down even though they knew that after this clash their own LV= Cup hopes were over for another season, and they came roaring back with a Davies penalty.

And they soon led 10-7 as on nine minutes Natoga went over with Davies once again splitting the posts from the tee.

But three minutes later Fihaki was celebrating another score and on the half hour mark Ingall got in the act – Ford converting both.

In between the two tries Davies kicked another three points for Ospreys but it was Sale who had the last say of the first half with Fihaki securing his treble five minutes before the interval, Ford once again adding the extras.

Not to be outdone, Natoga went over for his second try of the night five minutes after the restart, Davies converting to bring Ospreys to within eight points of their visitors.

However Sale came right back at their hosts and just minutes later they had try number five as Mike Haley went over.

Ford missed the conversion but normal serviced resumed on 54 minutes as the fly-half sent over a penalty to further stretch the Sharks’ lead.

Ospreys showed that they weren’t going to lie down though and on the hour mark Dan Baker went over, Davies converting.

And the home side were just six points behind as Davies sent over a 67th-minute penalty.

Sale then shot themselves in the foot as Jones and Harrison both saw yellow, meaning the visitors were down to 13 men with just seven minutes to play.

And it proved all too much for Sale as with the final play of the game Natoga grabbed his hat-trick and Davies sent over the conversion for a thrilling win.

Be part of the rugby family at the LV= Cup Final at Sandy Park, Exeter on March 16th. Tickets now available here

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