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James Hook inaccuracy costs Ospreys victory

By Online Editors
Ospreys back James Hook

Ospreys replacement fly-half James Hook missed two late penalties as Southern Kings hung on to register a 16-14 victory – their first Guinness Pro14 win of the season.

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Ospreys, who have now lost five out of six matches, had rallied from 16-0 down at the beginning of the second half with converted tries for number eight Morgan and wing Hanno Dirksen in torrential rain at Swansea.

But Kings had done enough in the first half with a try for centre Erich Cronje and 11 points from the boot of full-back Scott Van Breda.

Ospreys’ poor form was not helped with nine players out injured, while a further eight are on an extended rest following the World Cup.

But the region was boosted with new signing Shaun Venter returning to the starting line-up.

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The quality of the rugby by both sides was pretty poor in the opening exchanges not helped by persistent rain.

But Kings were the better side throughout the first half and deserved their 13-0 interval lead.

Kings thought they had a try after 12 minutes when number eight Elrigh Louw went over following a line-out in the Ospreys 22, but he was denied the score because of a knock-on.

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However, the Ospreys had been offside, and Van Breda made no mistake with the resulting penalty.

And it got better from the restart when fly-half John Jackson caught the ball and delicately chipped ahead for scrum-half Josh Allderman. Left wing Josiah Twum-Boafo and skipper Howard Mnisi combined before sending centre Cronje sprinting away over the line. Van Breda added the conversion.

Ospreys were caught offside on halfway at the end of the first half and Van Breda produced a fine 50-metre kick to convert the penalty – the last action of the half.

The poor quality of Ospreys’ first half was reflected by a change at the interval which saw Hook replace Luke Price.

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But despite Hook’s involvement Kings increased their lead to 16-0 with a penalty in front of the posts.

Hook’s experience helped Ospreys upfield and after the forwards banged on the door for long enough number eight Morris dived over at the side of a ruck for the try. Hook converted.

Hook suffered an accidental knee to the head and was replaced temporarily by Price while Kings had Cronje sin-binned for persistent offending.

After a series of scrum resets which frustrated the crowd Ospreys got over the second time with Dirksen scoring with Price converting to cut the scoreline to 16-14.

But they were unable to convert two late penalty chances for Hook, who returned to the action – one from 30 metres and one from just inside the Ospreys half.

 

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finn 10 hours ago
Massive red flag raised by weakened Champions Cup teams – Andy Goode

I wonder if the problem of some teams not taking it that seriously would be helped by making performance in the champions cup count towards qualification and/or seeding in the following year’s competition. Eg. top four seeds would be winners of the URC, premiership, and top 14, plus best performing team in the previous year’s CC who have not otherwise qualified. Doing that the seedings for this years comp. would have been: Tier one: Saracens - Munster - Toulouse - la Rochelle Tier two: Sale - Stormers - Racing 92 - Leinster Tier three: Leicester - Connacht - Bordeaux - Exeter Tier four: Northampton - Ulster - Lyon - Sharks Tier five: Harlequins - Glasgow - Stade Francais - Edinburgh Tier six: Bath - Bulls - Toulon - Ospreys The competition would probably work better with fewer teams, so I’d probably favour only the first 4 tiers being invited, and then going straight to a quarter final without a round of 16. On the one hand this would possibly incentivise teams to take the champions cup seriously, and on the other it would mean that the latter stages would be more likely to involve teams that have demonstrated a willingness to take the competition seriously. The main differences between my proposed system and the actual draw is that mine would give la Rochelle a fairly easy ride to the quarters, and would either exclude the Bulls entirely or would give then an insurmountably difficult draw. As it happened Exeter got quite an easy pool draw but that was a bit of a fluke. My system would reward Exeter for being one of the teams that demonstrably devote a lot of attention to the CC by guaranteeing them a good draw.

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