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Ospreys 17-19 Northampton

Ospreys (7) 17
Tries: Hibbard, Spratt Cons: Owen (2) Pen: Owen
Northampton (12) 19
Try: Cannon Con: Myler Pens: Myler (4)


Ospreys fly-half Gareth Owen tries to get away from the Northampton defence in the opening game of the new-look LV= Anglo-Welsh Cup at Swansea's Liberty Stadium
The new-look Cup offers the chance for young talent to shine

Northampton survived an Ospreys fight back to win the opening game of the revamped LV= Anglo-Welsh Cup.

The Saints stormed into a 13-0 lead in Swansea through a James Cannon try and the boot of fly-half Stephen Myler.

Already-weakened Ospreys saw skipper Ian Gough depart with a shoulder injury but Richard Hibbard gave them hope before the break with a converted try.

With Jon Vickers in the bin Jon Spratt scored and Gareth Owen booted Ospreys ahead, but a Myler kick sealed victory.

The new-look and downgraded Cup has been split into four groups of four teams, each side having four fixtures in the pool stages against teams from other groups.

606: DEBATE

The competition is being played on autumn Test and Six Nations weekends, meaning that the sides' international stars are unavailable.

The Ospreys suffered more than most, with 12 players on international duty and a further 16 unavailable due to injury.

That became 17 shortly before kick-off when full-back Barry Davies withdrew with a back injury, Nicky Thomas switching to 15 on his first Ospreys start, with Jon Vaughton coming onto the wing.

Filo Tiatia and Richard Hibbard played through injury, while James King, Ross Davies and Justin Tipuric came off the bench in the course of the game to debut for the 2008 Cup winners.

Northampton showed nine changes from the side beaten at Leicester, including Ben Foden starting at full-back following his release from the England squad and Alan Dickens coming in at scrum-half to lead the side.

The Liberty Stadium match was the Ospreys' first on a Thursday and their first game against Northampton.


Ospreys coach Sean Holley:
"I'm pretty disappointed, we started poorly, there were a lot of errors in the game, but it turned into a brave performance.

"I'm pretty proud of some of the youngsters who came on and put in a brave show… It could have been a different story.

"We wanted to win, we were dealt the cards [over selection and injuries] and have to deal with them."


Ospreys: N. Thomas, Vaughton, Parker, Bishop, K. Phillips, Owen, L. Davies, Bevington, Hibbard, Griffiths, Gough, Tiatia, Collins, Tandy, Smith.
Replacements: Spratt for Vaughton (60), Shervington for Hibbard (65), King for Gough (35). Not Used: R. Davies, Taylor, Tipuric, Wells, Beck.

Northampton: Foden, Ashton, Ansbro, Clarke, Mayor, Myler, Dickens, Dreyer, J. Gray, Vickers, Cannon, Day, Easter, S. Gray, Hopley.
Replacements: Sharman, Waller, Parkins, Giles, Ingle, Brake, Everitt, Pointer.

Sin Bin: Vickers (56).

Att: 4,322

Ref: J Jones (RFU).



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see also
Wales' sporting weekend in photos
08 Nov 09 |  Wales
LV= Anglo-Welsh Cup 2009/10
11 Aug 09 |  Rugby Union
LV= (Anglo-Welsh) Cup Tables
09 Aug 06 |  Tables
Anglo-Welsh Cup archive
24 Jul 06 |  Welsh
Anglo-Welsh Cup fixtures revealed
06 Jul 09 |  Welsh
Anglo-Welsh Cup set to carry on
06 May 09 |  Welsh
Coming up next on Scrum V...
03 Nov 08 |  Welsh
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales


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