Giles double helps Ospreys hold off Zebre

Sat, 02 Sep 2017 21:59
Large ospreys v zebre 800

PRO14 MATCH REPORT: Keelan Giles grabbed a double to get the Ospreys off to a winning start to the Pro14 season, but they were pushed all the way by Zebre before running out 22-13 winners.

In an entertaining game at the Liberty Stadium, the Ospreys looked to be in control when they took a 15-3 lead in to half-time, but after Carlo Canna’s late score, Zebre threatened a comeback win.

Instead it was the Ospreys who struck at the death, Giles going over for his second of the game to seal the victory.

Led by the returning James Hook, the Ospreys needed just two minutes to take the lead as they found a way through the Zebre defence.

Hook was at the heart of it, spreading the ball wide for Justin Tipuric, and he in turn fed Giles who celebrated his new contract with a try.

Hook couldn’t convert, and Zebre were able to cut the deficit to two points not long after thanks to the boot of Canna after an extended period of possession.

Things got worse for the Ospreys when they lost Ben John to the sin-bin for a dangerous tackle in the air, but Zebre were unable to make that extra man count.

Instead it was the Ospreys who stretched their lead midway through the half with a Hook penalty making it 8-3.

That looked to be it for the scoring in the first half but a Tipuric turnover got the Ospreys back on the front foot, and on the stroke of half-time, Maafu Fia was able to force his way over from close range, with Hook converting.

Canna cut the deficit back to nine points early in the second half, but Zebre then lost George Biagi to a yellow card for a neck roll.

However just like their opponents in the first half, the Ospreys couldn’t take advantage of their extra player, and instead it was Zebre who looked the more threatening.

One long period of possession eventually ended with the ball being turned over, but they got right back into it with ten minutes remaining.

Ciaran Gaffney caused the initial danger, and while Giles was able to bring him down, Canna was on hand to finish off the move, converting his own try as Zebre trailed 15-13.

The Italians looked like they might be on course to spring a surprise but instead the Ospreys finished with a flourish as Giles went over for his second.

It came from a delightful kick through by Sam Davies, with the fly-half also adding the conversion to make it a two-score game once again.

The scorers:

For Ospreys:
Tries:
Giles 2, Fia
Cons: Hook, Davies
Pen: Hook

For Zebre:
Try:
Canna
Con: Canna
Pens: Canna 2

Teams:

Ospreys: 15 Dan Evans, 14 Keelan Giles, 13 Ben John, 12 Cory Allen, 11 Jeff Hassler, 10 James Hook, 9 Tom Habberfield (captain), 8 Dan Baker, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Olly Cracknell, 5 Rory Thornton, 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Ma'afu Fia, 2 Sam Parry, 1 Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Scott Otten, 17 Nicky Smith, 18 Rhodri Jones, 19 Lloyd Ashley, 20 James King, 21 Reuben Morgan-Williams, 22 Sam Davies, 23 Kieron Fonotia.

Zebre: 15 Matteo Minozzi, 14 Giulio Bisegni, 13 Mattia Bellini, 12 Tommaso Castello (captain), 11 Gabriele Di Giulio, 10 Carlo Canna, 9 Marcello Violi, 8 Giovanni Licata, 7 Renato Giammarioli, 6 Derick Minnie, 5 George Biagi, 4 David Sisi, 3 Dario Chistolini, 2 Oliviero Fabiani, 1 Andrea Lovotti.
Replacements: 16 Tommaso D'Apice, 17 Andrea De Marchi, 18 Roberto Tenga, 19 Leonard Krumov, 20 Jacopo Sarto, 21 Guglielmo Palazzani, 22 Tommaso Boni, 23 Ciaran Gaffney.

Referee: Quinton Immelman (South Africa)
Assistant referees: Stuart Berry (South Africa), Robert Price (Wales)

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Fri, 29 September 2017
Sharks v Golden Lions 17h00 Durban
Worcester Warriors v Saracens 18h35 Sixways
Newcastle Falcons v London Irish 18h35 Kingston Park
Sale Sharks v Gloucester 19h00 AJ Bell Stadium
Leinster v Edinburgh 19h35 RDS Arena
Glasgow Warriors v Treviso 19h35 Scotstoun Stadium
Scarlets v Connacht 19h35 Parc y Scarlets
Sat, 30 September 2017
Griquas v Free State Cheetahs 12h00 Kimberley
Leicester Tigers v Exeter Chiefs 13h00 Welford Road
Munster v Cardiff Blues 13h30 Thomond Park
Cheetahs v Ospreys 14h00 Bloemfontein
Northampton Saints v Harlequins 14h00 Franklin's Gardens
Wasps v Bath 14h00 Ricoh Arena
Zebre v Ulster 14h35 Stadio Sergio Lanfranchi
South Africa v Australia 15h05 Bloemfontein
Dragons v Kings 18h35 Rodney Parade
Sun, 01 October 2017
Argentina v New Zealand 22h30 Estadio Jose Amalfitani
Blue Bulls v Western Province 12h30 Loftus Versfeld
PRO14
MORE LOGS
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Glasgow Warriors 4 4 0 0 18
Munster 4 3 0 1 14
Cheetahs 4 2 0 2 10
Connacht 4 1 0 3 7
Zebre 4 1 0 3 6
Ospreys 4 1 0 3 5
Cardiff Blues 4 1 0 3 5
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
Ulster 4 4 0 0 18
Scarlets 4 3 0 1 16
Leinster 4 3 0 1 15
Edinburgh 4 2 0 2 10
Treviso 4 2 0 2 9
Dragons 4 1 0 3 4
Kings 4 0 0 4 0