Blues North dreams were shattered by an Ospreys side, which threw caution to the wind and achieved a very deserved victory, writes Dale McIntosh Blues Development Officer
Having lost twice to us there was a lot of pride at stake for the Ospreys and this was evident as they took the game to us from the outset. This was not to say that Blues North took anything for granted as all 22 players new they were in for a testing evening and the preparation could not have gone better.
After a series of penalties awarded to the Ospreys we found ourselves down to 3-0. But when a poor referee decision allowed them a penalty in their half a quick tap and go from their outside half promoted excellent field position and resulted in the Ospreys touching down under the post.
Blues North needed to strike and when we were awarded a scrum in the middle of the pitch 20 yards out from our try line No 8 Aaron Atkins picked and went with a tremendous pass of the floor Gregg Morgan made the try scoring pass to Ian Smerdon who dabbed down under the post with Ian converting.
At 10 7 and the game on a knife-edge territory advantage was key and when Ian Smerdon kicked a penalty to draw the score, it was game on. The Ospreys were the more adventurous and their attacking ability caused us untold problems and a scrum in the middle of the pitch allowed them to attack the blind with speed of thought changing their point of attack our scramble defence was not good enough to prevent them scoring in the corner.
Half time score 15-10 to the Ospreys.
After the break both sides played with the intensity deserved of a final and a penalty by Ian Smerdon cut the deficit to 2 points. With time ticking away neither side were willing to give an inch and with 7 minutes remaining after some excellent attacking rugby by the Blues a turnover in the Ospreys 22 saw some great counter attacking hands seeing the Ospreys wing run 60 yards to score under the post.
At 22-13 the Blues still believed we could win this game and relentless pressure and a great chip from Sean Nicholas saw Tom Rees scoring to make the final minutes pulsating. When receiving the ball off the kick off not realising just how limited time was, we kicked possession away allowing the Ospreys to recycle and kick to touch ending a very exciting and hard fought final. Score 22-18 to the Ospreys.
This result is hard to bear but we do accept that the Ospreys had to play their A game and thats exactly what they did. Their unpredictability and execution in attack and counter attack were the difference between the two sides. This was high risk rugby and it come off on the day, many congratulations to them.
The Blues have had a tremendous season and can hold their heads up high the players have gone from strength to strength in their development and we are all ever so proud of them, with this in mind I wish them all the best for their futures.
Last but not least can I congratulate our very own CYNON VALLEY BOYS, Dale Jones (Rhydywaun) and Dean Gunter (Mt Ash Comp) for their outstanding regional season and Im sure theyll make their own luck when it comes to their Rugby playing future.