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Ospreys 32-7 Ulster

Nikki Walker just manages to get over for the Osprey's second try
Nikki Walker just manages to get over for the Osprey's second try

Ospreys (15) 32
Tries: Hook, Walker, Williams 2
Cons: Hook 3
Pens: Hook 2

Ulster (7) 7
Tries: Dawson
Cons: O'Connor

The Ospreys kept their hopes of qualifying for Europe next season alive with a comfortable Magners League win over Ulster at the Liberty Stadium.

James Hook opened the scoring with his boot before running home a try himself while Ulster were down to 14 men.

Soon after, Nikki Walker added a second before Ulster responded before the break through Kieron Dawson.

But Shane Williams grabbed two quick tries to seal the win and a bonus point.

Ospreys coach Lyn Jones rested a number of key players with next week's Heineken Cup quarter-final at Saracens in mind.

And their other major change came with Justin Marshall replacing Mike Phillips who was this week ruled out for six months with a cruciate ligament injury.

It was Ulster who applied the early pressure but Niall O'Connor wasted their first chance kicking his penalty wide.

They then found themselves on their hosts try-line only for the Ospreys to somehow survive the onslaught.

And it was to prove costly as Hook kicked the Welsh side into a 3-0 lead against the run of play on 15 minutes after the visitors had killed the ball.

That lead was almost doubled two minutes later when Kieron Dawson failed to roll away, only for Hook to drag his kick wide.


But soon after the visitors were punished three times in quick succession.

First Bryan Young was yellow-carded for persistent offending and then immediately the Ospreys got the opening try.

Ben Lewis's break started the move which ended with Hook diving over and also converting.

Walker added to Ulster's woes with a second try after finding a gap to burst through and go over in the corner making it 15-0.

Dawson kept the visitor's hopes alive just before the break grounding after Tommy Bowe's offload came off an Ospreys knee.

And O'Connor made no mistake this time with his kick.

Both kickers wasted efforts at the restart as the two sides went on the attack, but Hook made it three kicks from five on 64 minutes to open an 11-point gap.

Williams then made sure there was no way back for the visitors after running home the Ospreys' third try with 10 minutes to go and Hook converted.

And Williams grabbed his second moments later kicking a loose ball to the try-line and touching down for the bonus point.

  • Ospreys fly-half James Hook:
    "Ulster tried to spoil things early on and midway through the game but the boys worked hard to get into space and I am happy with the win in the end.

    "It gives a bit of confidence now going into the game with Saracens next week."

    Ospreys: Vaughton, Walker, Parker, A. Bishop, S. Williams, Hook, Marshall, D. Jones, Bennett, Griffiths, Gough, Evans, Smith, Lewis, Tiatia.
    Replacements: Spratt for Parker (75), Webb for S. Williams (78), Connor for Hook (78), James for D. Jones (75), Hibbard for Bennett (65), Wyn-Jones for Evans (70), R. Jones for Smith (62).

    Ulster: Cunningham, Bowe, Trimble, P. Wallace, Bartholomeusz, O'Connor, Boss, Young, R. Best, Court, Harrison, Caldwell, McCullough, Dawson, Ferris, D. Fitzpatrick.
    Replacements: Dewey for P. Wallace (57), McCrea for Bartholomeusz (80), Wilson for McCullough (70), D. Fitzpatrick for Dawson (34), Brady for D. Fitzpatrick (80).
    Not Used: Webb, Campbell.

    Att: 9,087

    Ref: P Allen (Scotland).



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    see also
    BBC Sport Wales coverage
    01 May 06 |  Wales
    Coming up next on Scrum V...
    17 Sep 07 |  Scrum V Extras

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