Sunday 23rd October 2016
British & Irish Cup Rd 2
The Mennaye, Penzance
Rheon's return to a blustery Mennaye Field may not have produced a happy outcome for the Aberavon Wizard – but that will be soon forgotten, as his former team mates enjoyed a comfortable five pointer in this – their second British & Irish Cup Pool 3 tie of the current campaign.
Before the action commenced though, there was a true display of the rugby family's bond – as players, officials and supporters joined in unison – for sixty seconds applause in tribute to 'Axel'. The loss of Munster's head coach and former Ireland international – Anthony Foley – clearly being acknowledged by One and All.
The game itself got off to a flyer – with Pirates skipper, Tom Duncan rounding off a fast start by the hosts – with only 80 seconds on the clock. Indeed, Jack Arnott could have added to this success before radio commentary had properly started – but for the strong breeze on the winger's back spoiling his kick through.
Fortunes for the Ospreys weren't to improve, as the Cornishmen sought to press home their early dominance. Tries from Walker & O'Meara and a penalty from May L. built up a 24 point advantage before the half hour mark – leaving little chance of any turnaround for the visitors – unless they could gain a foothold quickly.
Welsh hopes briefly raised therefore, as Rheon came within five metres of the Pirates' line at the Penzance End. Tom Williams' try five minutes later topped off the Ospreys period of pressure and at what could have been a crucial period on any other day.
A scrappy and pointless third quarter thus stifled any Welsh ambitions – and when Cheese finally added a fourth Pirates try to nail the bonus point – the game was all but decided.
Ospreys' afternoon was pretty much summed up when scrum half, Chris Williams, fell foul of Mr Gallagher for obstruction.
Further, second tries, for Duncan & O'Meara only completed their woes – but the Pirates will care little as they delivered the perfect send off for Stirlo.
15 Toby May, 14 Jack Arnott, 13 Tom Hendrickson, 12 Nicolas Battista
11 Alex O’Meara, 10 Laurence May (21 Will Cargill 69),
9 Mike Pope (22 Stuart Townsend 52), 1 Marlen Walker (17 Jack Andrew 68)
2 Tom Channon (16 Jack Innard 55), 3 Tyler Gendall
4 Chris Morgan (capt)(18 Brett Beukeboom 55), 5 Edd Pascoe
6 Matt Bolwell (19 Alex Cheesman 13), 7 Sam Simmonds, 8 Tom Duncan
Tries: T.Duncan (2,75), M.Walker (19), A. O'Meara (32,80+), A. Cheesman (67)
Cons: L.May (3,20,33,68)
Pens: L. May (29)
Ospreys Prem Select
15 Morgan Williams, 14 Tom Williams, 13 Joe Thomas (21 Kieran Williams 69)
12 Rheon James, 11 Tom O’Flaherty, 10 Joe Scrivens (22 Phil Jones 62),
9 Chris Williams, 1 Rowan Jenkins © (17 Ollie Evans 73) 2Alex Dunham (16 Jordon Liney 57), 3 Dan Suter (18 Alex Jeffries 69) 4 Kyle Evans,
5 Jon Kenny (19 Mitchell Walsh 20) 6 Joe Tomalin-Reeves (20 Jon Howard 73)
7 Will Jones, 8 Charlie Davies.
Replacements: all used
Tries: T. Williams (35)
Yellow: Chris Williams (74-)
Referee: Sean Gallagher (IRFU)
Assistants: Andrew Pearce & Gareth Holsgrove
4th Official: Fred Spong