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Walker extends Ospreys' streak

Sun, 04 Nov 2012 19:56
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European champions come unstuck
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Eli Walker backed up last weekend's man-of-the-match showing against Connacht with a decisive second-half try as Ospreys came from behind to beat Leinster 19-10 in the Pro12.

Shane Williams' successor in the region's No.11 jersey was well placed as Richard Fussell, running from deep in his own half, evaded the Leinster defence before setting up the 20-year-old for an easy score.

Consistent kicking in tricky conditions from flyhalf Matthew Morgan backed up Walker's effort to ensure the hosts secured their fifth consecutive league victory, moving them up to fifth.

In the first meeting between the two sides since last season's Pro12 final Leinster got the scoring underway after just three minutes when flyhalf Ian Madigan slotted home a penalty.

And the European champions nearly scored the first try four minutes later as a great box kick from Isaac Boss found space behind the Ospreys' defence but Fionn Carr failed to gather the ball before sliding out of touch.

However, from the resulting line-out Rhys Webb's kick was charged down and the rebound fell kindly to Leo Auva'a who touched down to give Leinster a 10-0 lead inside the opening ten minutes after Madigan added the extras.

That was to be the end of their scoring as Ospreys fought back with three first-half penalties, the first of which came after a quarter of an hour as Morgan relieved the early pressure.

The conditions were not helping either side as Morgan lost his footing when trying to find touch from his own half but from the next phase of play he made amends, converting another penalty.

On 34 minutes Leinster looked to capitalise on their best field position since the early exchanges after a clever Boss line break, chased well by Andrew Conway, led to a scrum five metres out.

But after Lloyd Peers had conceded the penalty, coming in at the side, Madigan missed the relatively straightforward kick albeit having to deal with the adverse conditions.

And, with the last action of the first-half, Morgan scored his third successive penalty, responding well to the visitor's early domination to bring Ospreys within one point.

At the start of the second period Ospreys had a chance to take the lead for the first time but after Morgan missed Leinster were straight onto the attack earning a penalty of their own which saw Duncan Jones sin-binned.

Although Madigan missed from the halfway line he broke through the Ospreys defence shortly after but a crucial tackle from Webb stopped him metres from the try line.

On the hour the 14 men took the lead for the first time as Morgan took a quick throw to Fussell who then ran straight through the middle before releasing Walker.

Morgan made his conversion to make the score 16-10 as Jones came back onto the field and from that point on Leinster began to chase the game.

But failing to find the momentum and penetration that had served them well at the start of the game they were unable to take away any points from advanced positions.

And Ospreys extended their lead through a Morgan drop goal with just six minutes remaining as they held out comfortably to ensure they remain unbeaten against the Irish side at the Liberty stadium since 2009.

The scorers:

For Ospreys:
Try:
Walker
Con: Morgan
Pens: Morgan 3
DG: Morgan

For Leinster:
Try:
Auva'a
Con: Madigan
Pen: Madigan

Yellow card: Duncan Jones (Ospreys, 51 - repeated offences)

Teams:

Ospreys: 15 Richard Fussell, 14 Hanno Dirksen, 13 Tom Isaacs, 12 Andrew Bishop, 11 Eli Walker, 10 Matthew Morgan, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Joe Bearman, 7 Sam Lewis, 6 George Stowers, 5 Jonathan Thomas (captain), 4 Lloyd Peers, 3 Joe Rees, 2 Matthew Dwyer, 1 Duncan Jones.
Replacements: 16 Arthur Ellis, 17 Marc Thomas, 18 Daniel Suter, 19 James King, 20 Morgan Allen, 21 Kahn Fotuali'i, 22 Jonathan Spratt, 23 Ross Jones

Leinster: 15 David Kearney, 14 Andrew Conway, 13 Brendan Macken, 12 Andrew Goodman, 11 Fionn Carr, 10 Ian Madigan, 9 Isaac Boss, 8 Leo Auva'a, 7 Shane Jennings (captain), 6 Rhys Ruddock, 5 Devin Toner, 4 Damian Browne, 3 Jamie Hagan, 2 Thomas Sexton, 1 Heinke van der Merwe.
Replacements: 16 James Tracy, 17 Jack McGrath, 18 Martin Moore, 19 Ben Marshall, 20 Jordi Murphy, 21 John Cooney, 22 Noel Reid, 23 Sam Coghlan-Murray.

Referee: John Lacey (Ireland)
Assistant Referees: Neil Hennessy, Wayne Davies (both Wales)
TMO: Nigel Whitehouse (Wales)

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