Ross Roche

By Ross Roche

Senior sports writer

URC result: Lions brought back down to earth with Ospreys defeat

It was a match that went completely against the visitors, with their poor performance compounded by a confusing one from the ref.

The Lions were brought thudding back down to earth as they suffered a disappointing 36-21 loss against Ospreys in their United Rugby Championship (URC) clash at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea on Saturday afternoon.

It was a match that just went completely against the visitors, with their poor performance compounded by a confusing one from the ref, with every 50-50 going the way of the home side, as well as a number of soft decisions going against the Lions.

In the end their fantastic 38-14 win with 14 men over Connacht in Galway last week would have been forgotten pretty quickly as the Lions again slipped out of the URC top eight.

Flying start

Ospreys got off to a flying start as they attacked from a lineout in the Lions’ 22m, bashed away at the line and prop Tom Botha powered his way over for the opening score and a 5-0 lead after six minutes.

In the 16th minute the hosts went further ahead as scrumhalf Ruben-Morgan Williams broke from a ruck in the Lions half, getting into the 22m where he offloaded to hooker Sam Parry following up to run over and score, with flyhalf Owen Williams adding the extras to put them 12-0 ahead.

The Lions finally had a few chances to get on the board with a couple of penalties in the Ospreys 22m, but after choosing to go for the 5m lineout twice they were unable to score as the hosts managed to clear.

In the 32nd minute Parry was yellow carded for cynical play after slapping the ball out of a player’s hand at a ruck, which gave flyhalf Jordan Hendrikse a chance to cut the deficit, but his penalty flew over the top of the posts, with the touch judges adjudging it to have missed.

The Lions finally got on the board in the 37th minute. After setting up another 5m lineout their maul finally got going and powered over for hooker PJ Botha to dot down, with Hendrikse slotting the conversion.

However, Ospreys had the final say of the half as a penalty outside the Lions 22m allowed Williams to knock it over after the hooter to send them into the break with a 15-7 lead.

Early blow

The Lions were dealt a blow early in the second half when replacement prop Morgan Naude, just on the field, was given a soft yellow card for an initial tip tackle. Although it looked like he put the player down safely, he was still sent to the bin.

With the extra man, Ospreys were able to go in for their third try as they attacked into the Lions 22m, where eighthman Morgan Morris threw a dummy and dived over, with Williams adding the extras to put them 22-7 ahead after 50 minutes.

In the 57th minute the Ospreys set up a lineout deep in the Lions 22m, set the maul and piled in, with replacement hooker Lewis Lloyd getting over for the converted score to give them a big lead.

The Lions finally hit back in the 66th minute as they attacked from a goal line drop out, sending the ball wide for fullback Quan Horn to run in and score, with Hendrikse converting to make it 29-14.

In the 74th minute the Lions gave themselves a sliver of hope of fighting back when wing Richard Kriel dotted down a good attack in the corner, with Hendrikse’s extras bringing them to within eight points.

But it was the hosts that closed out the game with a late try to replacement back Kieran Williams, converted by replacement flyhalf Jack Walsh to seal the win.


Ospreys: Tries – Tom Botha, Sam Parry, Morgan Morris, Lewis Llyod, Kieran Williams; Conversions – Owen Williams (3), Jack Walsh; Penalty – Williams

Lions: Tries – PJ Botha, Quan Horn, Richard Kriel; Conversions – Jordan Hendrikse (3)

Read more on these topics

Lions rugby team United Rugby Championship

Access premium news and stories

Access to the top content, vouchers and other member only benefits