Jack Walsh misses late penalty as Lions hold on to claim shock win over Ospreys
Ospreys fly-half Jack Walsh missed a straightforward penalty three minutes from time as the Lions held on to claim a shock 28-27 victory in Swansea.
The home side seemed in control for most of the United Rugby Championship clash and outscored their opponents by four tries to three but the resilient Lions hung in to claim the decisive score eight minutes from the end through Edwill Van Der Merwe’s converted try.
Francke Horn and Sanele Nohamba also crossed for the South African side with Gianni Lombard kicking three penalties and two conversions.
Keelan Giles scored two tries for Ospreys while Dewi Lake and Rhys Webb were also on the scoresheet, with Walsh adding a penalty and two conversions
The visitors had the chance to take second-minute lead when Alun Wyn Jones was penalised for a dangerous challenge, but Lombard was off-target with the resulting penalty.
Lombard had another opportunity four minutes later as Ospreys conceded a scrum penalty and this time he made no mistake.
Ospreys responded with the first try of the game when a flowing move ended with Luke Morgan sending Giles over in the corner.
Giles soon had a second after some creative play from Walsh had given the wing his opportunity to race away.
However, Lions remained in contention when number eight Horn finished off a driving line-out, with a conversion from Lombard leaving his side trailing 14-10 at the end of a competitive first quarter.
The home side became increasingly dominant, though, and it came as no surprise when they scored their third try with Michael Collins and Giles combining effectively to create the score for Webb.
Lions immediately replied with a second penalty from Lombard to go in 19-13 down at the interval, but they suffered a setback five minutes after the restart when flanker Sibusiso Sangweni was sin-binned for a tip-tackle on Collins.
The South Africans looked in trouble but they were gifted a second try. A misunderstanding between Webb and number eight Morgan Morris at a scrum saw the ball run loose for Nohamba to pounce.
It was now a one-point game but Ospreys took advantage of Sangweni’s absence to score their bonus-point try with replacement Lake crashing over from close range.
Sangweni returned from the sin-bin in time to see Lombard knock over a penalty from the halfway line with effortless ease.
Walsh nullified that score with a straightforward kick but Lions would not lie down and produced a bout of excellent handling to send Van Der Merwe flying over, with Lombard’s conversion ultimately proving decisive as Walsh was unable to make the most of his late opportunity.
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