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Page last updated at 15:17 GMT, Saturday, 12 April 2008 16:17 UK
2008 EDF Energy Cup final
Twickenham, 12 April, 2008



Leicester (6) 6
Pens: Goode Drops: Goode
Ospreys (7) 23
Tries: Bishop, Wyn Jones Cons: Hook 2 Pens: Hook 3


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Ospreys responded well after their Heineken Cup exit

A superb all-round performance from James Hook inspired the Ospreys to a fine victory in the EDF Energy Cup final against Leicester at Twickenham.

The fly-half had a hand in both Ospreys tries, setting up Andy Bishop for the opening touchdown on 22 minutes before finding Alun Wyn Jones on 47 minutes.

Hook converted both scores, as well as kicking over three penalties.

Leicester never settled in the game, with all their six points coming in the first half from the boot of Andy Goode.

The victory avenged the Ospreys's 2007 final defeat by Leicester and was the perfect response after their disappointing loss to Saracens in the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup last weekend.

Tigers coach Marcelo Loffreda played into the Welsh side's hands, opting for centre Ollie Smith ahead of the more enterprising Tom Varndell on the right wing in a bid to counteract the threat of Shane Williams.

'This victory represents a turning point for us' - Lyn Jones

The English side dominated the early exchanges, taking the lead on four minutes when Goode kicked over a 25-metre penalty after a ruck infringement.

And the Premiership team's forwards soon camped themselves deep inside Ospreys territory, but a fumble from centre Dan Hipkiss thwarted any hopes of a score.

But Goode - who had missed two earlier penalty efforts - doubled Leicester's lead with a drop-goal on 16 minutes.

606: DEBATE
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But within six minutes the Ospreys, who featured 11 of the Wales side that beat England in the Six Nations, were ahead courtesy of Hook's vision and Leicester's lackadaisical defending.

The fly-half popped an inside pass for centre Bishop, who brushed off limp challenges from George Chuter and Goode before diving over for the first try of the game.

Hook added the extras and Leicester, after imposing their early authority, were beginning to lose the plot, with the Wales number 10 pulling the creative strings.

A wonderful, fleet-footed break from Hook required a full-stretch tackle from Harry Ellis to prevent a certain try-scoring opportunity.

Indiscipline from the Tigers forwards resulted in captain Martin Corry receiving a stern lecture from referee Alain Rolland, warning any further discrepancies would lead to the sin-bin.

But despite their dominance, the Ospreys failed to capitalise - Hook missed a 35th-minute penalty attempt, while Leicester just about cleared a Williams chip into the try area - and they had to make do with a slender one-point lead at the interval.

Tigers coach Marcelo Loffreda with assistant coach Richard Cockerill
Tigers coach Marcelo Loffreda (right) watches on in disbelief

But that advantage was extended seven minutes after the break through Wyn Jones, courtesy of a scything break from the excellent Lee Byrne.

The Wales full-back was assisted by a missed tackle from Chuter in midfield, but quick recycling and a change of direction from Jonny Vaughton found Hook, whose perfectly timed pass found the powerful lock for a five-metre touchdown.

Leicester, subdued and lacking any attacking threat, were soon chasing an 11-point deficit when a thumping Hook penalty from the right touchline sailed through the middle of the posts.

With Leicester's beleaguered forwards looking increasingly forlorn, the Ospreys squeezed further penalties from their tired and dejected opponents, with Hook adding six points with two fine penalty strikes to seal the game and the trophy.

'We were second best by quite some way' - Martin Corry

The Ospreys kept pushing forward and replacement Gareth Owen touched down in the corner after a dazzling Williams break, only for referee Rolland to overrule the score for an earlier forward pass.

The decision had little effect on the Ospreys as the celebrations began in earnest two minutes later when Rolland blew for full time.


Leicester: J. Murphy, O. Smith, Hipkiss, Mauger, Tuilagi, Goode, Ellis, Stankovich, Chuter, Castrogiovanni, L. Deacon, Kay, Corry, Herring, Crane.
Replacements: Varndell for Tuilagi (76), White for Stankovich (53), Kayser for Castrogiovanni (75), Croft for Herring (58). Not Used: Blaze, Laussucq, Vesty.

Ospreys: Byrne, Vaughton, Parker, A. Bishop, S. Williams, Hook, Marshall, James, Hibbard, A. Jones, Wyn-Jones, Evans, R. Jones, Holah, Tiatia.
Replacements: Brew for Vaughton (78), Spratt for A. Bishop (75), Owen for Hook (78), D. Jones for James (73), Bennett for Hibbard (67), Gough for Evans (69), J. Thomas for Tiatia (69).

Att: 65,756

Referee: A Rolland (Ireland)


see also
Ospreys can still fly higher
13 Apr 08 |  Ospreys
EDF Energy Cup final as it happened
12 Apr 08 |  Rugby Union
EDF Cup final photos
12 Apr 08 |  Rugby Union
Leicester 41-35 Ospreys
15 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
BBC Sport Wales coverage
23 Mar 08 |  Wales
Coming up next on Scrum V...
25 Feb 08 |  Scrum V Extras
EDF Energy Anglo-Welsh Cup 2007/8
01 Dec 07 |  Rugby Union
Anglo-Welsh Cup archive
24 Jul 06 |  Welsh
Anglo-Welsh Cup
11 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union


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