Flying start for Ospreys
Hosts fail to find a fourth try in scoreless second half
Last Updated: 02/09/11 9:44pm
Rhys Webb: opening try for Ospreys
Ospreys made an impressive start to the new RaboDirect Pro12 campaign with a 27-3 victory over European champions Leinster at the Liberty Stadium.
Ospreys quickly got the upper hand against last year's Magners League runners-up, crossing for their first try after just two minutes.
Scrum-half Rhys Webb picked up from a ruck and, after the ball passed through the hands of centres Ashley Beck and Andrew Bishop, the number nine took the return pass and raced in at the corner.
Outside-half Dan Biggar, who had booted the conversion, increased the home lead with a penalty before video referee Neil Ballard ruled out a possible touchdown from big number eight Jonathan Thomas, as the Welsh international back row had not put the ball over the line.
But there was no stopping the Welshmen as Leinster made little impression. They took a 17-0 advantage when wing Hanno Dirksen, who was involved in the build-up to Thomas' effort, dived in at the left corner.
This time, Ballard looked at the replay and decided Dirksen did not put a foot in touch and awarded the touchdown that Biggar converted from the touchline.
It was one-way traffic as Biggar added a 15-metre drop goal before Leinster stand-off Mat Berquist eventually got his side off the mark with a close-range penalty.
The Ospreys struck again before the interval when Webb broke from a ruck and chipped over the onrushing defence for captain Justin Tipuric to pick up and dive over.
Biggar converted and, at the break, it already looked like game over as the Ospreys led 27-3.
Surprisingly, there was to be no further scoring.
Leinster eventually woke up and got over the line after 50 minutes but McLaughlin's effort was ruled out by video referee Ballard.
Tipuric did not help his side's cause by being shown a yellow card for a ruck offence but the Irishmen failed to take advantage and score while he was off the pitch.
Leinster were their own worst enemies too as they were turned over when in good attacking positions, as the game fizzled out and Ospreys were unable to conjure up a fourth try for a bonus point.