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.
Fri 24th Apr
Edinburgh37 - 0Zebre
Ulster26 - 10Leinster
Sat 25th Apr
Connacht13 - 31Glasgow Warriors
Cardiff Blues23 - 31Ospreys
Munster30 - 19Treviso
Dragons10 - 29Scarlets
Fri 8th May
Dragons0 - 0Edinburgh
Leinster0 - 0Treviso
Ospreys0 - 0Glasgow Warriors
Sat 9th May
Ulster0 - 0Munster
Zebre0 - 0Connacht
Sun 10th May
Scarlets0 - 0Cardiff Blues
Sat 16th May
Cardiff Blues0 - 0Zebre
Connacht0 - 0Ospreys
Edinburgh0 - 0Leinster
Glasgow Warriors0 - 0Ulster
Munster0 - 0Dragons
Treviso0 - 0Scarlets
RaboDirect PRO12 2013/14 Round 22
Jonathan Davies was given a winning send-off in his Scarlets farewell as his side beat Cardiff Blues 27-15.
Newport Gwent Dragons finally got a victory in the RaboDirect Pro12 as they battled to beat a stubborn Treviso 20-19.
Glasgow Warriors beat Zebre 54-0 to secure their first-ever home berth for a play-off quarter-final.