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Page last updated at 15:46 GMT, Saturday, 12 April 2008 16:46 UK
2008 EDF Energy Cup final
Twickenham, 12 April, 2008

FT: Leicester 6-23 Ospreys


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By Tom Fordyce

1630: That's your lot from me. Hats off Ospreys, hard knocks Leicester. Beofre I go, a quick message for Ospreys fan Bones - we all like Lee Byrne, but give it a rest at some point tonight, yeah?

1627: Lyn Jones looks like man who's just been told his house has burned down. You want smiles? Try the Cartoon Network.

1622: Martin Corry fronts up. "We were beaten by the better team. They out-played us and we under-performed. The 15 on the field didn't take our chances.

1620: Sonny Parker leads up the Ospreys - and now Ryan Jones hoists the trophy. Not a bad few months for the lad, eh?

1618: Martin Corry leads a soggy and disconsolate Tigers team up to pick up their runners-up medals. No smiles on faces, quelle sooprise.

1615: Marty Holah is named man of the match. "We let ourselves down last week and this is the only way we could make up for it."

1614: Some chat from victorious skipper Ryan Jones: "It's been a fantastic occasion - there were 22 heroes out there today."

FULL TIME Leicester 6-23 Ospreys Revenge is theirs - the Ospreys have their hands on some silverware.

79 mins: Hail hammering down now, but the Ospreys fans don't care.

77 mins: Lordy - try on a plate for Ospreys, but Shane gets penalised for a forward pass with the line's legs wide open.

75 mins PEN Leicester 6-23 Ospreys: Another pen. No idea what it was for - all eyes were on the prone Hipkiss - and Hook eases another tricky one over. Done and dusted,

74 mins: Hipkiss is back on his feet. Tough lad.

74 mins: Ouch - Hipkiss takes a nasty blow to the head as he slips into the tackle, and he looks to be out cold here.

71 mins PEN Leicester 6-20 Ospreys: That might just be that - Hook bangs over another peach from out on the left, and Leicester look beaten.

68 mins: Ospreys force the knock-on as the Tigers waste precious time in the scrum. Olly Smith makes a right mess snagging of the clearing kick and the Ospreys are out of danger.

66 mins: Leicester pile over but Ref Rolland rules that the ball was held up. Another 5m scrum.

65 mins: Mauger feeds Murphy and Leicester win a scrum five yards out. They need to cross from here.

62 mins: Finally some Tigers pressure after Ellis spoils the ball with Ospreys scrumming down five yards out. Crane smashes through and is wrestled to the ground by Parker.

59 mins: Two great chances for Ospreys - a better grubber in the corner would have put Vaughton in, and then Tiatia's break comes to nothing when the no-look pass misses everyone. Leicester can't get a sniff.

56 mins: PEN Leicester 6-17 Ospreys Tuilagi is offside at the ruck and Hook lines up the pen from wide on the right - tremendous slot.

53 mins: Ospreys again and again, Shane off-loads like a half-pint Michael Jordan to Byrne, and eventually it's only Bishop's spill which prevents another score.

51 mins: Deacon is clobbered by Tiatia and Leicester concede another pen. Julian White on for Stankovich as the Tigers scrabble for a foothold.

47 mins TRY Leicester 6-14 Ospreys: Brilliant break from Byrne again, and on the next phase Hook sees the overlap on the left and feeds Alun Wyn Jones, who touches down in the corner. Hook slots a fine conversion and the Ospreys have taken wing.

45 mins: Leicester line-out in a useful spot but Mauger has a stinker again, ballooning a pass nowhere to lose possession.

42 mins: Mauger slips as Leicester waste a great chance after a daft turnover at the breakdown. Scrappy all round.

41 mins: We're off again, in bright spring sunshine.

HALF-TIME Leicester 6-7 Ospreys: Another narrow escape for the Tigers as Hook gets on the end of a Shane pop-pass and willows his way down the wing, only for his kick ahead to skid out long. The Ospreys, after a slow start, should be further ahead here.

Fetch yourself a Saturday afternoon beverage and I'll be back with you after a bladder-reliever.

37 mins: Great chance for the Ospreys as Marshall makes ground down the right, leading to an overlap down the left. But Sonny Parker cuts back after a slowish pass from Bishop and the ball is turned over.

35 mins: More naughtiness in the ruck from the Leicester big boys, and Rolland steps in. Hook, however, slides his penalty across the face of the posts. One from three for the spiky-haired 10.

31 mins: Good Ospreys pressure comes to nothing as they lose the ball and Leicester clear. Castrogiovanni snags Byrne with borderline violence. Byrne thinks about lobbing a punch, sees who he's facing and decides on a scowl instead.

28 mins: Bright sunshine now at Twickenham as Byrne snags a Goode cross-field kick and tears down the touchline. He's pegged back, but that'll give Goode something to think about.

25 mins: Hook skims through again before Byrne comes bulling through on the angle. Tiatia throws a forward pass back inside and it's scrum Leicester. They needed that.

22 mins TRY Leicester 6-7 Ospreys: What sort of clown of a commentator would doubt Andy Bishop? Gavin Henson's replacement bursts through the weak tackles of Chuter and Goode after Hook's off-load to dive over and bring the Ospreys bang back into it. Hook slots an easy conversion.

19 mins: Cracking break from Hook from a loose ball on his own 22, scything through the Tigers defence before Tuilagi hauls him down. Leicester pile in and give away the pen, but Hook misjudges his kick and leaves it fractionally short.

16 mins - DROP GOAL Leicester 6-0 Ospreys: Goode makes amends with a casual stroker from behind a rock-solid scrum 30m out.

14 mins: Goode has a bang from 45m after the Ospreys forwards are penalised at the breakdown once again. It's got the legs but slips just wide.

11 mins: Leicester are camped on the Ospreys line, but repeated drives take them nowhere. Hipkiss knocks on when they try to spread it and Marshall boots clear.

8 mins: A super kick through from Hook puts the Ospreys deep into Tigers territory. Lee Byrne bags a clearing kick but fails to release and gives away the pen, and Leicester clear their lines.

6 mins: The Ospreys can't settle at the mo. Tuilagi nearly goes free on an interception but can't quite wriggle clear.

4 mins - PEN Leicester 3-0 Ospreys: Missed by a mile - but the Ospreys give away another pen from a ruck 25 metres out when Ellis is pulled back into the fray. Goode should land this - and he does.

2 mins: Scrum to Leicester on half-way, the Ospreys front row stand up and Rolland pings 'em. Penalty - and Goode's having a pop from 55 metres...

1429: Seconds away now - Alain Rolland has his whistle heading mouthwards.

1424: Lashing it down at Twickenham now. Leicester's big pack will be licking their lips. A large bunch of lads dressed in purple suits with leopardskin lapels - very Mighty Boosh - pass round pints of Guinness.

1420: Olly Smith on the wing for the Tigers today, supposedly to keep Shane at bay. Interesting.

1419, from Phil H at Twickenham: "The obligatory all-female, all-blonde opera group are out on the pitch. They're pretty scantily-clad considering the chilly temperatures, and are jumping about to keep warm. Bless. They belt out Bread of Heaven, swiftly followed by Jerusalem, and everybody seems happy."

1418: Apparently Ospreys coach Lyn Jones went for a run in Richmond Park this morning to calm his nerves. Last time I was in there you couldn't move for green parrots - they were everywhere. The world's gone mad.

1414, from Phil H: "Martin Corry and the rest of his Leicester players are being asked to go through a mildly amusing wam-up routine. There is more of a hint of the mid-80s aerobics class about it, and it looks like it may well be being led by a girl. I can't be sure, but whoever it is has certainly got a ponytail. Whatever next?"

1410: A little chat for you from Austin Healey and Jonathan Davies pitchside. "The two best sides in the competition are in the final," says JD.

1402, from Finbar via text: "Congratulations to Chester for the win this morning in the first game - my brother played second row! Come on Leicester!"

1356, from Phil H again: "Saints captain Bruce Reihana climbs up the Twickenham stairs to lift the trophy for his side. We're treated to the chorus of 'Chelsea Dagger' by The Fratellis to mark the moment. That song really has come out of nowhere to stake a claim as the music of choice at many a big sporting occasion. It's the 'Song 2' of the noughties, I'm telling ya...

"Meanwhile, ignoring the celebrations going on just a few yards away, players from both Leicester and the Ospreys are out on the pitch going through some warm-up routines.

"I used to play with a bloke whose main warm-up routine was to urinate behind the goalposts. Every single week. I'm pleased to report that nobody here seems to be doing that as yet."

1350: Final score from the second match - Northampton have seen off Exeter 24-13.

1345, from BBC Sport's Phil Harlow at Twickenham: "The clouds are clearing here, and the sun is threatening to come out. That crazy English weather is at it again.

"The atmosphere is also warming up nicely with the plentiful Northampton support getting right behind their side. They have been used to rather better things here, having won the Heineken Cup at Twickenham back in 2000, but they seem more than happy with their side currently well in control."

1340: Ali v Foreman, Coe v Ovett, Marmite v Bovril - those clashes were as nothing compared to the battle today between Andy Goode and James Hook. Who will come out on top?

1336, from BBC Sport's Phil Harlow at Twickenham: "The pitch is standing up well so far, considering there has already been more than two hours of rugby played on it today, but any more rain and there could be problems."

1330: Wonder how much of a miss it'll be having Henson parked up in the stands today. I'm not knocking Andy Bishop, but.... ah, what the hell, I am knocking Andy Bishop.

1325, from sirshanewilliams on 606: "Shane will have a stormer today. Two tries for Shane and the Ospreys win with it."

You should know, sirshanewilliams. Although the third-person thing - it's unbecoming of a modest man like you.

1320, from BBC Sport's Phil Harlow at Twickenham: "Still breathless with excitement after watching Chester just edge out Birkenhead Park in the EDF Energy Intermediate Cup final, the Twickenham crowd Ė gradually increasing in number as we get closer to kick-off in the big one Ė is now being treated to Northampton v Exeter in the second match of the day.

"Itís a breezy day at Twickers, and there has just been a short shower of rain from some nasty-looking clouds hovering above the stadium. For what itís worth, Iím very much regretting my decision not to wear a jumper."

Incisive and informative - a classic Harlow moment.

1315: CiderWarrior - Harlow tells me there are still tickets available - repeat still tickets available. Polish off that restorative pint and get a march on down the A316 sharpish.

1310 - from CiderWarrior on 606: "Tom - you're a wise old chap - we're in Richmond and thinking of rocking over to HQ to get a ticket on the gate...any danger?"

Tell you what - I'll get the fleet-footed Phil Harlow to pop down to the turnstiles and see what's what.

1300: Afternoon all, and welcome to what should be a nerve-shredder of an afternoon. 90 mins till we're under way at Twickenham - are we going to see a repeat of that Tigers triumph this time last year, or will the wobbling Ospreys make amends for the stinker in Watford last week?

From Cowshot on 606: "Got to expect Ospreys to bounce back from the Sarries game. I fear they'll do us this time. Come on Tigers!"

see also
Ospreys 'to exorcise Euro demons'
10 Apr 08 |  Rugby Union
Varndell tries to impress again
09 Apr 08 |  English
Leicester 41-35 Ospreys
15 Apr 07 |  Rugby Union
EDF Energy Anglo-Welsh Cup 2007/8
01 Dec 07 |  Rugby Union

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