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George North red carded just 6 minutes after scoring impressive opening try for Ospreys

By Ian Cameron
George North (Photo by Athena Pictures/Getty Images)

Ospreys wing George North ran the full gamut of emotions at the Liberty Stadium, scoring a well-taken try before minute later being sent off for a reckless challenge on Ashton Hewitt.

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North took just seven minutes to barge his way over for his side’s opening try in their Guinness PRO14 derby clash with the Dragons. After a 5-month plus wait for rugby to return, it was a fitting way to mark the Ospreys’ return to the Liberty Stadium.

A star of the British and Irish Lions in 2013 and scorer of 40 tries for Wales, North has had his fair share of criticism in recent years, with some feeling the hulking, north Wales wing is past his best. A mediocre Six Nations campaign was grist to the mill for his detractors.

The 28-years-old’s try of 7 minutes certainly defied that view of North. A brilliant break up the centre of the pitch by scrumhalf Rhys Webb eventually saw the ball spun out wide to North who was waiting out on the wing. The 6’4, 109kg wing didn’t need to be asked twice, bouncing off the attention of Ashton Hewitt and the covering tackle of Dafydd Howells, before crashing over the line.

It may not have been vintage George North but it was an impressively taken try. However, it all turned sour just six minutes later when he was given a straight red for an awkward challenge that left Hewitt sprawled on the turf.

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North collided with an airborne Hewitt, spinning the Dragons wing who landed awkwardly on his back. Referee Adam Jones sent him on his way.

OSPREYS: Dan Evans; George North, Owen Watkin, Kieran Williams, Luke Morgan; Stephen Myler, Rhys Webb; Nicky Smith, Sam Parry, Tom Botha, Adam Beard, Alun Wyn Jones, Olly Cracknell, Justin Tipuric (capt), Morgan Morris. Reps: Dewi Lake, Gareth Thomas, Nicky Thomas, Bradley Davies, Will Griffiths, Reuben Morgan-Williams, Josh Thomas, Tiaan Thomas-Wheeler.

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DRAGONS: Dafydd Howells; Owen Jenkins, Nick Tompkins, Jack Dixon, Ashton Hewitt; Sam Davies (capt), Tavis Knoyle; Brok Harris, Richard Hibbard, Leon Brown, Matthew Screech, Joe Maksymiw, Ben Fry, Taine Basham, Ross Moriarty. Reps: Ellis Shipp, Conor Maguire, Chris Coleman, Joe Davies, Aaron Wainwright, Luke Baldwin, Arwel Robson, Adam Warren.

Referee: Adam Jones (WRU, PRO14 debut)

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Jon 25 minutes ago
How Maro Itoje terrorised the All Blacks lineout

Yeah England were much smarter, they put their much vaster experience to use in both the scrum (bending/not taking hit) and lineout (Itoje early sacks) law vagaries. Really though, I know what is there, I’m more worried about Englands locks. We only got to see Itoje and Martin, right? Depth allround in the England camp was probably the difference in the series and the drop off when Itoje reached his minutes limit for the season (it was like the plug was pulled from the charger) was up their with keeping Sexton on the park in that quarter final. What happened there? You have a lot of watching hours experience with locks come blindsides Nick, especially with a typical Australian player make up, have you see a six the size of Barrett absolutely dominate the position and his opposition? I can easily see Scott, and even Martin for that matter, moving to the blindside and playing like Tadgh Beirne with the amount of top locks we have coming through to partner Patrick. Still with the English mindset, because despite running the best All Black team I’ve seen in a long time close, they do need to find improvement, and although I thought they had a lot of good performances from their 7’s, I really like the prospect of Cunningham-South in his 8 spot and Earl on the open. Can you see Martin as mobile enough to take over Lawes? I absolutely loved his aggression when Jordie ran upto him to try and grab the ball. That alone is enough reason for me to try him there.

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s
sean 2 hours ago
The bite don't match the bark

Yeah, he has a few good points… I disagree that our 7s haven't done anything, we won Bronze in 2016, and we were virtually unplayable to the backend of the “teens” winning the series. 7s is far more competitive globally than Union, so it's fair to say we haven't dominated, but we are almost always contenders. But I do agree that our national side doesn't perform nearly as well as it should between World Cups, and I do agree that our supporters can be too passionate and the opitimity of what Rugby stands against. I have said so many times. And I also believe some context needs to be taken into account with Saturday's win for Ireland. They're a really good team! Settled coaching staff, and bar a few legends retiring, they've had a full season and plenty of time together. We have some youngsters being groomed for the future, have played only 3 games now under a new coaching team with new philosophies and game plans. I'm excited by what the future of this team holds, as much as I am disappointed by the result. But unlike this article suggests, I am never going to take away from what Ireland has achieved, is achieving, and where they're heading. As a Rugby fan, I love the tight games, like the last two weekends. As a Bok Super Fan, I agree we don't perform as well as we should. And as an aside, you come play a game at 7am on our fields, bud. -2°c and frost on the field that is as hard as concrete…. Then we’ll see just how tough you are. Well done Ireland! They played well, and gave our boys a lot to think about. That's what you want from the top two teams in the world. Rugby won. The fans of this greatbsport won. A'n bullshit like this article is why Rugby is losing its identity. I don't like soccer. This article perpetuates the soccer influences the game of Rugby is starting to see. It's why Wayne Barnes retired, feared for his family, and he isn't the only ref to say so. I have called out many Bok fans for being an embarrassment to the game, and I will continue to do so. Rugbypass.com, this article is close to the same bullshit. You should be better.

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