Jacques van der Westhuyzen

By Jacques van der Westhuyzen

Head of Sport


URC result: Lions edge Ospreys for famous win in Swansea

Ospreys and the Lions clashed in a second round United Rugby Championship match in Swansea, Wales on Saturday.


The Lions pulled off a famous United Rugby Championship win against the Ospreys from Wales, recording a 28-27 triumph in Swansea on Saturday night.

In a see-saw battle, the Lions led early on and only again late in the match, to kick off their European tour on a high note. The Lions lost their opening match at home to the Bulls last week.

In an entertaining game, the Lions opened the scoring with a penalty by Gianni Lombard, but Ospreys hit back almost immediately with a try by Keelan Giles and conversion by Jack Walsh.

And the hosts charged into a commanding position well into the first half when Giles scored his second try after a good passage of play, with the ball moved across the field and Ospreys players finding holes in the Lions defence. With the conversion the Ospreys led 14-3.

But almost from the restart the Lions struck a blow of their own, No 8 Francke Horn going over from a lineout drive, Lombard adding the extras.

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Then, on the stroke of half-time the Ospreys scored their third, again some enterprising play between the backs resulting in No 9 Rhys Webb scoring the try. Giles was again a key figure in the play, as was fullback Max Nagy.

Lombard struck a late first half penalty to narrow the gap to 13-19 and that’s how it stayed until the break.

Second half

And while the Lions lost Sibusiso Sangweni to the bin for a tip tackle at the start of the second half, they pulled to within one of the Ospreys when scrumhalf Sanele Nohamba picked up a loose ball at the back of the home team’s scrum and ran in untouched.

The ding dong battle continued when the Ospreys scored next, within minutes of the Lions’ score, when Dewi Lake crossed the line.

Lombard then knocked over another penalty to get the Lions to within three again, but a penalty by Walsh made it 27-21 for the home team with 20 minutes to play.

And the Lions ensured a box-office finish when some good handling and inter-play by the forwards led to wing Edwill van der Merwe crossing for a converted try, to give the visitors a one-point lead with 10 minutes to play.

And with two minutes to go, Walsh had a chance to win it for Ospreys, but he pulled his penalty kick wide and the Lions would hang on for a famous win.

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