Cardiff secure Welsh Shield after victory over Ospreys at Principality Stadium
Cardiff put their off-field troubles firmly behind them as they produced a superb performance to destroy Ospreys 38-21 in the United Rugby Championship and win the Welsh Shield and with it European Champions Cup rugby for next season.
On Thursday their director of rugby Dai Young was suspended after allegations were made against him but it was his son Thomas and Welsh international scrum-half Tomos Williams, who shone brightest in a terrific team effort at the Principality Stadium.
Young scored two tries, Max Llewellyn, Mason Grady and Rhys Carre the others with Rhys Priestland converting all five and adding a penalty.
Sam Parry, Dewi Lake and Gareth Thomas scored tries for Ospreys, all of which Gareth Anscombe converted.
Rhys Webb led out Ospreys on his 200th appearance for the region but it was Cardiff who made the better start.
They declined two kickable penalties in favour of more attacking options but it proved the wrong option as mistakes prevented them from capitalising.
However, they continued to dominate the opening quarter in terms of territory and possession and came closest to scoring when Grady lost possession as he attempted to force his way over.
As a result, a penalty-ridden and largely featureless first quarter finished scoreless with Ospreys conceding nine penalties in the first 25 minutes and eventually that ill-discipline took its toll when Young crashed over from close-range.
Priestland converted before Cardiff soon scored an excellent second try when Williams quickly took a tap penalty to race 40 metres before sending Llewellyn over.
Worse was to follow for lethargic Ospreys when Young burst away from a maul to kick ahead for Grady to collect and squeeze the ball down for the touchdown.
A brilliant half for Cardiff was nearly sealed when Jarrod Evans, Williams and Llewellyn produced some mesmerising handling to see Young cross but TMO replays ruled out the try for a marginal forward pass.
However, the capital region still led 24-0 at the interval after Priestland kicked a penalty to complete a half in which Ospreys failed to strike a single blow.
Five minutes after the restart, they did open their account when Parry finished off a line-out drive but Williams intercepted to send Young on a 45-metre run to the line for his second try.
Thomas scored a second for Ospreys in a more competitive second half and Lake added another after Cardiff’s replacement James Botham had picked up a yellow card.
But Cardiff deservedly had the final say when Carre powered over with three minutes to go.
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