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NEATH-SWANSEA OSPREYS 60 THE BORDERS 7
The Borders remain anchored at the bottom of the Celtic League table after a miserable 53-point loss to the Neath-Swansea Ospreys at the Gnoll on Friday night.
The Ospreys ignored the damp conditions to jog in nine tries in a one-sided romp against a Borders side who matched their opponents in terms of the number of men they had on the field, but nowhere else.
Hometown favourite Gavin Henson broke the season’s points-scoring record by running in 30 almost at will as The Borders again headed north with nothing to show from their trip to Wales, and their Heineken Cup spot next season looks good.
Henson opened the scoring with an early penalty goal, but the visitors enjoyed some luck when in-form Ospreys centre James Storey went over near the posts, only to be called back because of a brawl among the frontrowers. Props Craig Dunlea (Borders) and Andrew Millward (Ospreys) were given 10 minutes to cool down.
The reprieve was short-lived as Henson finished off a Stefan Terblanche-inspired move in the 15th minute, and a try-scoring dab from scrum-half Andy Williams five minutes later virtually ended the match as a contest.
A superb individual effort from Wales winger Shane Williams took the Ospreys’ score to 22 before the clock ticked past 24 minutes, and Henson secured the fastest try-bonus point of the season well before the half-hour mark.
Visiting scrum-half Chris Cusiter finished off a great break from winger Craig Moir as the Ospreys’ concentration slipped, and The Borders went into the break trailing 7-27.
Hansen completed his hat-trick in the fifth minute of the second spell, and Shane Williams went over for his side’s sixth try soon after. Terblanche scored an opportunistic try in the 65th minute as The Borders’ defenders decided tackling was an optional part of the game, and replacement lock Jonathan Thomas took the Ospreys past 50 as the match was in danger of becoming a farce.
Replacement centre Elvis Seveali’i scored his side’s ninth try before referee Ally McKay ended The Borders’ misery with the final whistle.