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Match Report: Cardiff Blues 16 Ospreys 26

17 Nov 2017
Match Report: Cardiff Blues 16 Ospreys 26

Rhys Williams’ try ten minutes from time ensured it was Ospreys that emerged triumphant from the first Welsh derby of this year’s Anglo-Welsh Cup.

The 24-year-old emerged from the bench to cap a 26-16 victory over Cardiff Blues underneath the Friday night lights at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park, as the Swansea-based province responded perfectly to their opening round defeat against Wasps.

The PRO14 rivals were deadlocked at 0-0 come half-time but Reuben Morgan-Williams took advantage of James Hook’s exquisite chip to end the stalemate early in the second period.

The boot of Steve Shingler kept the Blues in the game but Williams dived over to seal a victory that pushes Ospreys up to third in Pool 4, despite Harri Millard’s consolation try at the death.

In a compelling first half, it was the defences that emerged on top as the game headed into half-time scoreless.

The Blues had looked more likely to score, consistently making inroads into the visiting 22, but former Wales Under-20 centre Millard squandered their best opportunities – failing to hang on to Owen Lane’s exquisite offload when well-positioned and then being turned over on the try-line.

And Ospreys made them pay early in the second half when Hook’s chip over the top released Luke Price and Morgan-Williams then ended a scything run by sliding over the line – Price duly adding the extras.

Having turned down shots at goal to kick to the corner on three occasions before the break, Shingler narrowed the gap to 10-6 with a pair of penalties, sandwiched by one from Sam Davies.

A third Shingler three-pointer after Ospreys’ Rob McCusker was sin-binned for repeated infringements on the hour mark was almost immediately cancelled out by another Davies boot from the tee, before Williams put the result beyond doubt as he finished off a team move from close range against the run of play.

Davies slotted another penalty four minutes from time but the Blues at least emerged with some credit when Millard dotted down after clever interplay with Shingler, although a fourth Davies three-pointer on the full-time whistle denied them even a losing bonus point.

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