RaboDirect PRO12: Ospreys produced a final flourish to their league campaign
Last Updated: 10/05/14 10:09pm
Ashley Beck: Ospreys centre touched down once in each half
Centre Ashley Beck crossed for two tries as the Ospreys signed off their RaboDirect Pro12 season with a 45-20, bonus-point win over Connacht.
The match had become all but irrelevant after the Ospreys' disastrous 30-27 defeat to Zebre but the Welsh side still managed to dig deep for a performance to score six tries to Connacht's three.
Ian Evans was playing his final match for the Ospreys before moving to Toulon in the summer, while Justin Tipuric will now undergo shoulder surgery which will sideline him for Wales' tour of South Africa next month.
Despite the defeat to Zebre on May 1, Ospreys made only two changes with wing Jeff Hassler and flanker Sam Lewis coming into the side for Aisea Natoga and James King respectively.
Connacht started the brighter and earned a penalty from a scrum on the 22 which Miah Nikora kicked to give the Irishmen the lead after four minutes.
The Ospreys squandered a try chance on 10 minutes in a mix-up between Tipuric and Hassler.
But Hassler more than made up for the error three minutes last when he picked up a loose ball in his own half and ran in breaking through a last-ditch tackle to go over for his team's first score.
Connacht were back in the lead five minutes later when wing Danie Poolman latched onto Nikora's neat cross kick and he put full-back Darragh Leader in.
In a see-saw battle Ospreys came from behind once more as Beck went over for the second try to begin a sequence of 17 unanswered points.
After Dan Biggar landed a penalty skipper Alun Wyn Jones went over by the posts as the Ospreys opened up a 24-8 lead.
But on the stroke of half time prop Denis Buckley was on the end of a driven line-out to claim Connacht's second try.
Seven minutes into the second half Beck went over to secure the bonus point.
And there were further scores for prop Nicky Smith and Dan Baker as Ospreys took their tally to six tries. Flanker Conor Gilsenan went over for Connacht's third try.
Just before the end, Alun Wyn Jones received a yellow card - his second in consecutive games.