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Ospreys collapse after the break as Glasgow continue surge up the table

Guinness PRO12 Editor 29 Nov 2013

DTH van der Merwe and Ryan Wilson were last-gasp heroes for Glasgow as the Warriors continued their recent hoodoo over a depleted Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium, winning 28-16.

Van der Merwe scored a late try in the corner ten minutes from time to break Ospreys’ hearts and with it ensured Glasgow continued their assault at the top of the RaboDirect PRO12 summit.

And with the final play of the game it got worse for Ospreys as Wilson went over for Glasgow’s third try to ensure the home side missed out on even a losing bonus point.

Earlier, Sam Davies had been the star of the show for the Ospreys as he produced a near faultless kicking display.

After a shaky start, fly-half Davies – making his first Ospreys RaboDirect PRO12 start – grabbed the game by the scruff of the neck as he scored 11 points with the boot.

Davies looked like a seasoned international in the No.10 shirt, ensuring the scoreboard kept ticking for the home side in the opening 20 minutes.

Missing 17 players due to a combination of international call-ups and injuries – Ospreys struggled to get their game going and were fortunate to lead 10-6 after 30 minutes, scoring with their only visits into the Glasgow 22.

Glasgow had the luxury of recalling seven internationals following Scotland’s autumn campaign and it showed as they bossed the territory and the breakdown area.

Ruaridh Jackson gave Glasgow the lead with a penalty after just three minutes but the visitors, who have won their last four matches against the Ospreys and have not lost at the Liberty Stadium since March 2011, failed to build on their early momentum.

Wing Jeff Hassler got the Ospreys back into the game on 17 minutes as he scored an opportunist try with the home side’s first real meaningful attack – Jones added the extras from the kicking tee.

Jackson kicked his second penalty to bring Glasgow back into contention but it got better for the Ospreys eight minutes later as Davies slotted a drop goal.

And with just six minutes left of the first half, Davies – who is the son of former Wales centre and skipper Nigel, who now coaches Gloucester – kicked a penalty to make the score 13-6.

Davies thought he got the scoreboard moving again just after half-time but unfortunately after a period of sustained pressure for the Ospreys his drop goal attempt slipped wide of the left upright.

Glasgow were fortunate to escape a yellow card on 53 minutes as the visitors’ pack illegally slowed down an Ospreys break, allowing the impressive Davies the chance to slot another penalty and extend his team’s lead to 16-6.

And it could have got worse for Glasgow before the hour mark as the Ospreys camped on the visitor’s line and looked certain to add to their first-half try.

However, an uncharacteristic error saw Glasgow run the length of the field to score as Sean Lamont broke a tackle in the Warriors’ 22 and offloaded to scrum-half Chris Cusiter to score – Jackson missed his resulting kick at goal.

Just after the hour mark Lamont was stretched off with what looked like a serious looking knee injury but the disruption did little to halt the visitors’ comeback as Stuart Hogg took advantage of Ospreys’ ill-discipline at scrum-time to land a long-range penalty and bring Glasgow back to within two points.

All the momentum now seemed with Glasgow and on 69 minutes van der Merwe scored the cheekiest of scores in the corner to hand the visitors the lead – Jackson added the extras to make it 21-16 with just ten minutes remaining.

The Ospreys set-piece collapsed in the final quarter and the major contributing factor to the Glasgow fightback.

And Ospreys were denied even a losing bonus point in the final minutes as Wilson went over for a late score, with Jackson adding the extras to make the final score 28-16.

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