Heineken Cup - Leicester In A Win-Win Situation
Rugby score Saturday showed the Osprey's defeating rivals Leicester by 15-9 but the victory was not as sweet as it could have been under normal circumstances.
James Hook came out victorious at the kicking match between himself and his counterpart from the other team, Derick Hougaard. Hougaard could kick in only 2 penalties in the second half of the game as compared to 3 kicked in by his opponent on Ryan Jones' team.
The visitors employed many tactics to slow down the game so as to overcome the danger they faced from the Welsh team's attacking strategies. This paid off well for them as despite losing the game to the Welsh team they were able to maintain their high ranking thanks to a much needed bonus point.
The results of matches between Leinster and Edinburgh, Castres and Wasps and, Bath and Toulouse will decide the fate of the Osprey's regarding their stay or ouster from the quarter finals.
Either Edinburgh or Castres must win if the Osprey's are to advance into the next stage of the game. In case neither of these team come out victorious, Osprey's still stand a slim chance depending on The Rec. The bonus points and try counts will then be the deciding factor.
Osprey's luck seemed to have started running out ahead of the match as star player Lee Byrne could not play due to an ankle injury. Coach Sean Holley decided to reshuffle his team by moving centre Gavin Henson to full back. He also introduced another change by moving Andre Bishop to number 12 and Tommy Bowe to number 13. Steve Tandy took the place of Jonny Vaughton.
Captain Ryan Jones started to score early for his team as he made ground many times while Hook succeeded in kicking 2 penalties. It was worth every minute spent on the internet keeping record of rugby results.
Hogaard kicked in a penalty at the 14th minute much to the excitement of Martin Corry's side. Unfortunately, he made some mistakes that cost them the win as he both missed scoring off a penalty and failed to score from a drop-goal.
The team lost a member as Toby Flood of the Tigers got the better of Christophe Berdos, the French referee's patience and after several warnings was finally sent off only after 30 minutes into the game. Flood must have regretted having kicked the ball away from the Osprey's teammate.
Due to the attacking line-out strategy of Ryan Jones team another penalty was awarded to them and Hook had to the pay the price by being penalized.
Tiger's may not have been the best at attacking but they had an excellent defense and hence by break time they were leading 6-3.
Despite an exciting match, Osprey's finished off without feeling much jubilation after their win as their fates had yet to be decided. On the other hand, Leicester left confident of a place in the quarter finals.
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Peri Witny is an author of Sports News.