Ospreys record bonus-point victory against 14-man Scarlets
Ospreys recorded a bonus-point victory over a 14-man Scarlets side after Argentina flanker Tomas Lezana was red-carded in the fourth minute of the West Wales derby at the Swansea.com Stadium.
Referee Craig Evans found himself at the centre of two decisions that changed the complexion of the game, with the Scarlets playing with 14 men for 76 minutes of this URC clash.
The Scarlets saw Lezana red-carded for a head-on-head tackle on Ospreys lock Rhys Davies in the fourth minute.
But the Scarlets would have been frustrated when Ospreys fly-half Owen Williams was only shown a yellow card for a similar head-on-head tackle on his opposite number Sam Costelow midway through the first half.
The home side were still made to work for the win with the extra man, with Wales and Lions wing Alex Cuthbert, wing Luke Morgan, captain Rhys Webb, replacement hooker Sam Parry and centre Keiran Williams all crossing for tries.
The Ospreys’ win was only their second of this season’s United Rugby Championship campaign but the expected avalanche of points for having an extra man never came.
Wing Cuthbert crossed for the game’s first try after a driving lineout close to the Scarlets line, touching down over in the corner from short range.
The home side soon had their second try after a dominant scrum in the shadow of the visitors’ posts and wing Morgan slid in at the corner after a miss pass by Williams.
The fly-half added the conversion to make it 12-0 to the Ospreys before Williams was shown a yellow card for his head-on-head tackle on Costelow.
The Scarlets took full advantage with both sides down to 14 men when lock Sione Kalamafoni hit a good angle after a period of pressure to score for the visitors.
Scrum-half Webb replied almost straight away when he ran in from 25 metres, shaking off tackles by Rhys Patchell and Johnny McNicholl to cross near the posts. With fly-half Williams sin-binned, Webb converted his own try to make it 19-7 at half-time.
Kalamafoni looked to have crossed for his second try straight after the break but he was held up after an impressive charge from the back of a scrum.
The Scarlets did cross for the try when Webb’s pass was intercepted by full-back McNicholl and he raced on from the halfway line to haul his side back to within five points.
The Ospreys replied with a Williams penalty and tries by replacement hooker Parry and centre Williams to secure the bonus-point win.
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