Wasps edged out by Ospreys in Anglo Welsh Cup

Wasps went down to the in-form Ospreys, at the Ricoh Arena, in the final pool round of the Anglo Welsh Cup  before returning to the Aviva Premiership next week.

22 - 31
Wasps Ospreys

Sun 5th February 2017
3:00 pm

Ricoh Arena Stadium Anglo-Welsh Cup Attendance: 11409 As it happened
Wasps battled hard and Guy Armitage’s try ten minutes from time put the home side into the lead and in sight of victory. However, two late tries from the visitors deservedly earned them a bonus point win and denied Wasps a losing bonus point.

Wasps came close to an early score, after Frank Halai chased Craig Hampson’s kick-ahead to put the defence under pressure. Ospreys tried to run the ball out of danger, but conceded a turnover just outside the 22. Jack Willis, skipper James Gaskell and Carlo Festuccia all went close, before possession was lost on the line and the visitors cleared to safety.

With seven minutes gone, the Wasps pack produced a devastating scrum on an Ospreys put-in inside their 22. The kick was sent to the corner to set up a driving line out, which was stopped illegally. Wasps opted for a scrum and the Ospreys eight were again driven backwards. Frank Halai came off his wing and crossed the line only to be held up. With the referee playing advantage for another Ospreys offense, Craig Hampson’s quick service gave Brendan Macken the space to ride a tackle and stretch out for a try near the posts. Warren Seals added the conversion.

The visitors replied with a fine try by Jay Baker, thanks to a superb one-handed offload by fullback Dafydd Howells after a driving line out was stopped near the left corner and the ball was moved out to the right. Howells was tackled in midfield, but his back-handed offload gave Baker the simplest of tasks to stroll over near the right corner. Luke Price landed the tricky conversion to square things at seven-all with 15 minutes gone.

A barging run by Guy Armitage gave Wasps a platform to go through a series of phases and create space on the left, but Piers O’Conor’s pass towards Frank Halai was deflected and intercepted. Some powerful runs by Alex Rieder took Wasps back into the Ospreys 22 and they were rewarded with a scrum six metres out. Another solid scrummage won quick ball, but Warren Seals’ pass to Brendan Macken went forwards, seven metres from the posts.

The ensuing scrum won Wasps another penalty, after the Ospreys' pack was driven off the ball. Wasps turned down a simple kick at goal to go for the corner. The forwards drove infield and were held up on the line before conceding a penalty.

A deliberate Ospreys knock on 35 metres out then gave Wasps another penalty, which found touch inside the 22. After an initial drive by the forwards, the ball was released to the backs and Frank Halai came into the line to send Brendan Macken over for his second try, which Warren Seals was unable to convert.

Five minutes before half time, the visitors took the lead when replacement Dan Baker went over near the posts. Luke Price’s conversion made the score 14-12, which was how it stayed until the interval.

Wasps changed both props for the second half, with Simon McIntyre making way for Tom Bristow and Will Stuart being replaced by Jake Cooper-Woolley, who was making his first appearance since injury in mid-December.

A thunderous tackle by Alapati Leiua set up a Wasps' lineout just outside the Ospreys 22. Guy Armitage’s power took him into the 22, where a breakdown penalty was won in front of the posts. Warren Seals’ kick put Wasps one point ahead. The lead was short-lived, as Price soon landed a simple penalty to take the score to 17-15 after 53 minutes.

With the visitors pressing hard following a well-constructed attack from their own half, Jack Willis won a crucial turnover in the shadow of the posts.

Twelve minutes from time, another powerful run by Guy Armitage took Wasps deep into the Ospreys 22. Jake Cooper-Woolley followed up with a strong charge and the Wasps forwards were held up on the line. From the scrum in front of the posts, Wasps moved the ball out to the left and Guy Armitage forced his way through a tackle to cross for a well-deserved try. Warren Seals converted to put Wasps 22-17 ahead, with ten minutes remaining.

The visitors responded immediately, after Hanno Dirksen’s excellent chase from the restart. They moved the ball infield before moving back out to the left, where Keiron Fonotia was taken over the line by his forwards to touch down. Luke Price’s conversion put Ospreys back in front.

The visitors then came close to the bonus point try, when Luke O’Flaherty broke away. He lost possession thanks to a huge man and ball hit from Alapati Leiua, just outside the Wasps 22 and Tom Howe gathered the loose ball to send Frank Halai away on a run which was stopped inside the Ospreys 22. The position was lost through a penalty, before another penalty three minutes from time took the visitors back into the Wasps 22.

Wasps’ hopes of preserving their long unbeaten home record were finally killed off when Hanno Dirksen went over in the left corner from the final play of the game and Luke Price landed the conversion. Despite securing the bonus point, Ospreys just missed out on a semi-final place, as Exeter Chiefs finished top of their group thanks to their bonus point win at Bristol.

Wasps Line ups

  1. Simon McIntyre
  2. Carlo Festuccia
  3. Will Stuart
  4. Marcus Garratt
  5. Will Rowlands
  6. James Gaskell
  7. Jack Willis
  8. Alex Rieder
  9. Craig Hampson
  10. Warren Seals
  11. Frank Halai
  12. Guy Armitage
  13. Brendan Macken
  14. Alapati Leiua
  15. Piers O'Conor
  16. Adam Kwasnicki
  17. Tom Bristow
  18. Jake Cooper-Woolley
  19. Kearnan Myall
  20. Tom Willis
  21. William Porter
  22. Nick De Luca
  23. Tom Howe

Ospreys Line ups

  1. Gareth Thomas
  2. Scott Otten
  3. Rhodri Jones
  4. James Ratti
  5. Adam Beard
  6. Tyler Ardron
  7. Joe Bearman
  8. Rob McCusker
  9. Matthew Aubrey
  10. Luke Price
  11. Tom O'Flaherty
  12. Jonathan Spratt
  13. Joe Thomas
  14. Jay Baker
  15. Dafydd Howells
  16. Ifan Phillips
  17. Hugh Gustafson
  18. Dan Suter
  19. Lloyd Ashley
  20. Mitchell Walsh
  21. Dan Baker
  22. Kieron Fonotia
  23. Hanno Dirksen