Three yellow cards cost the Cardiff Blues South a chance of victory at BP Llandarcey last night.
An expectant crowd were initially confused as the Ospreys ran out in blue, and the Blues ran out in Pink. The colours also seemed to confuse the hookers as several lineouts went astray in the opening minutes.
It was the home side that had the better start going ahead after 5 minutes with a penalty by Tom Carpenter. At this stage the Blues defence was being severely tested, and only a last ditch tackle by Reuben Tucker prevented another score. The Blues though were deemed to have transgressed the law and saw the first yellow card of the night. Carpenter added the points to make it 6-0 to the Ospreys.
The Blues stuck at the task and upped the work rate due to being a man down. The tackle count was ever increasing but the referee again penalised them hard, eventually brandishing a second yellow for a player not rolling away despite him being trapped with no way of getting away. The Blues defence held firm though even with thirteen men until half time to only leave them trailing 6-0.
The second half started brightly for the now fully restored Blues. With the home team now the ones committing the penalties, the Blues worked their way down to the Ospreys 22 to set up an attacking scrum. A set move saw centre Keiron Driscoll send his partner James Morris through a hole to race to the corner to score an unconverted try.
That score stung the Ospreys back into life, and a period of sustained attack from all areas of the pitch tested the defence. Eventually though the break came and Andrew Claypole crossed to put the Ospreys 11-5 up.
The referee now seemed to be trying to even up the penalty count, pinging the Ospreys on several occasions, but when the Blues were penalised he used his third yellow against the away team, Carpenter adding the points for a 14-5 lead.
The Blues threw everything into the cause, but a couple of handling errors meant they could not get the score they needed. At a scrum form one of those errors though the Ospreys got in a mess, the official had no option other than to penalise and card Jordan Jones for not releasing the ball. Paul King slotted the penalty.
With a couple of minutes left the Blues tried hard to work their way down field for the winning score, but had to settle for the bonus point and a final score-line of 14-8.
After the game Blues Regional High Performance Manager Gafyn Cooper said It is very hard to win a game where you have three yellow cards and 20 penalties against you, but we battled back to and nearly got the score which would have given us a win