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Ospreys back with a bang against Benetton

Max Chesterton 22 Sep 2018
Ospreys Dan Evans PRO14

Ospreys bounced back from their loss to Munster with a telling 27-10 victory over Benetton Rugby.

Captain Justin Tipuric scored the second try midway through the second-half to ensure Allen Clarke’s men extended their unbeaten streak at the Liberty Stadium to eight matches.

Sam Davies put the icing on the cake for the Swansea side with an impressive 17 point contribution to clinch the Ospreys third win of the Guinness PRO14 season.

The home side had to bide their time to put the first points on the scoreboard and Ospreys finally had their chance when Dewaldt Duveage came through the side to hand the hosts a penalty after 12 minutes.

Davies duly obliged from 40 metres with the ball brushing the left post on the way between the posts.

When Tipuric was offside inside the Italian half, Benetton immediately went to the corner and it paid off for Kieran Cowley’s side as Antonio Rizzi drew the scores level from the kicking tee following another penalty under the posts.

With both sides looking to get the all-important first try, Ospreys finally made a set-piece count seven minutes before half-time from a line-out inside the Benetton 22 metre line.

The Swansea side swiftly moved the ball from right to left and Joe Thomas wonderfully feinted to play in Dan Evans to sprint left of the posts to dab down and hand Davies a first conversion of the tie.

Ospreys thought they had secured their second try shortly after the restart when Luke Morgan wonderfully raced onto a loose ball to cross the whitewash, but the try was disallowed by the TMO.

It mattered little though as Ospreys swiftly recovered to score only minutes later when captain Tipuric expertly ran through the pack and kicked over to George North.

The wing knocked the ball through after a high tackle around the neck by Luca Sperandio and all Tipuric had to do was grab the ball and dot down to go 17-3 up following Davies’ second conversion.

It was double punishment for Benetton with Sperandio given a yellow card for his role in the try.

But Tipuric was soon joining the Italian on the sideline for a late challenge and Benetton instantly hit back when Braam Steyn wiggled his way through the smallest of gaps to make their sustained period of pressure count.

Davies opened up some breathing space from the kicking tee to widen the gap to 10 points and the fly-half proved crucial at the other end to halt a charging Sebastian Negri from scoring.

And the Wales international proved invaluable in attack by capping off a flowing Ospreys move to notch his personal tally up to 17 points.

Match Page 2017-18 - Summary WP:137

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Match Page 2017-18 - Timeline WP:139

Match Page 2017-18 - Lineups WP: 135

Match Page 2017-18 - Performance WP:138