Ospreys Take the Spoils

The Hollywoodbets Sharks went down to the Ospreys 19-5 at the Twickenham Stoop in a round three Vodacom United Rugby Championship clash on Friday evening.

Played in cold conditions, there was no shortage of action as the two sides gave it their all, with Ospreys outscoring the Hollywoodbets Sharks three tries to one, but spending much of the game  – indeed most of the second half – playing the role of defending the fort, but putting in a match-winning shift against the determined Durban side who never gave up.

As early as the third minute, a lovely team effort that started in their own half culminated in a try for Phepsi Buthelezi as the thrust on attack was as fierce as it was perfectly executed. All recent talk has been about not only creating opportunities but finishing them off and this was the perfect example of taking chances and being rewarded.

Ospreys took a good five minutes of bashing away at the Hollywoodbets Sharks line, testing the discipline on defence and while they were repelled numerous times, they eventually got over. But the TMO called them back and evidence of the ball lost forward cancelled out the try.

But the pressure eventually told as Ospreys took the ball through nearly 15 phases against brave defence on the line, before eventually sending the ball to the backline and getting over. 

With both conversions missed, the teams were level at five points apiece after a quarter hour of relentless play.

The Hollywoodbets Sharks dominated for the next 10 minutes, forcing Ospreys to defend, and it was on one exciting break where misfortune struck, a grubber was intercepted and the hosts ran three-quarters the length of the field to score their second try, and with the conversion took a 12-5 lead with 10 minutes of the half remaining.

The TMO had his hands full in the closing minutes of the first half, ruling on a third Ospreys’ try after the ball hadn’t been controlled and was pounced on by the home side in the final play before half-time, taking a 19-5 lead into the break.

The Hollywoodbets Sharks brought the energy and physicality in the second half and should have earned greater reward for their impressive efforts on attack, testing the Ospreys’ defence for the opening quarter hour, but were frustrated in the final instance numerous times as the home team somehow dug deep enough to hold their line.

Despite the best efforts from both sides, neither was able to add to the half-time scoreboard. Ospreys finished the game pushing hard but relinquished all advantage on four separate occasions in the final minutes as they went after the bonus point try but could not close the game out.