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Sharks off the mark in the URC care of the Ospreys

By PA
(Photo by Chris Hyde/Getty Images)

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Sharks outside-half Boeta Chamberlain kicked three drop goals as his side ended the Ospreys’ unbeaten start to the season with a convincing 27-13 win in Swansea.

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The Sharks had conceded 77 points in losing their two opening fixtures, but lethargic Ospreys held no answers to the visitors’ energy and enterprise.

Jeremy Ward and Marnus Potgieter scored their tries to add to Chamberlain’s hat-trick of drop goals, with Ruan Pienaar adding two penalties and a conversion.

Gareth Anscombe kicked two penalties for the Ospreys to add to Gareth Thomas’ try, which Stephen Myler converted.

Alun Wyn Jones made his first appearance since returning from the British and Irish Lions tour, but Welsh international prop Tomas Francis was a late withdrawal with a stomach bug.

The Ospreys overcame this setback by taking an early lead thanks to an Anscombe penalty before the visitors suffered an injury blow when wing Thaakir Abrahams was helped off.

Pienaar missed a long-range penalty for the Sharks before Anscombe extended the hosts’ lead with a second straightforward kick.

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The Sharks were regularly penalised in the opening quarter but they still matched their opponents during that period and deservedly picked up their first score when Chamberlain dropped a simple goal.

Six minutes later, Chamberlain fired over an impressive second, this time from 40 metres, to bring the scores level. The outside-half then replaced Pienaar as goal-kicker but sent his 45-metre kick well wide to leave the scores tied at 6-6 at the interval.

Within 90 seconds of the restart, the visitors took the lead for the first time. A well-judged kick ahead from Chamberlain was collected by lively lock Hyron Andrews, who provided the scoring pass for Ward.

They could soon have had another. First Anscombe’s clearance was charged down by Chamberlain, but the ball ran dead and then Anthony Volmink and Werner Kok combined cleverly down the left flank, which had the Ospreys scrambling to keep their line intact.

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However the South Africans weren’t to be denied as Volmink sailed through the defence to provide Potgieter with an easy run-in before Chamberlain slammed over his third drop goal and Pienaar kicked a penalty.

The Ospreys were easily second best for the third quarter and took the surprising move to take off their international half-backs, Anscombe and Rhys Webb, and were rewarded with a consolation try from Thomas, but the Sharks had the final say with a second penalty from Pienaar.

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