Ospreys stage daring fightback to inflict defeat on Leinster at the RDS

Devin Toner sets appearance record but ends up on the losing side after three late tries

 

Leinster 19 Ospreys 24

Devin Toner equalled Gordon D’Arcy’s record of 261 appearances but the 34-year-old was unable to celebrate the occasion with a victory as the Ospreys scored three late tries when Leinster were reduced to 14 players to record a memorable win that their performance thoroughly merited, inflicting only Leinster’s second defeat in the league this season.

Leinster took the lead on 20 minutes after Ospreys prop Ma’afu Fia received a yellow card, the upshot of some heavy duty pummelling on the visitors’ line. From the scrum Rowan Osborne scampered the short-side and Harry Byrne glided over for a well worked try; Ciarán Frawley added the conversion.

Ospreys responded with a penalty through outhalf Luke Price but promptly make a hash of the restart. Jamie Osborne reacted quickest to snaffle the loose ball and outpace the cover to the corner for the 19-year-old centre’s first Leinster try. Frawley failed to land the touchline conversion and Price missed a subsequent penalty chance for the visitors as the game got a little scrappier as the interval loomed.

There might have been a few words in the home dressingroom about being more accurate in kicking and passing terms and improving discipline. It had the desired effect initially, Byrne crossing for his second try three minutes after the resumption with Frawley posting the conversion to make it 19-3.

Dan Sheehan came on to play in the backrow, one of the few notable moments in the third quarter as the game got bogged down in a morass of handling mistakes, scrums, resets and a raft of replacements. Leinster coach Leo Cullen won’t have been pleased with how careless his team was at times in possession and the number of penalties conceded; three alone at the scrum.

When Leinster wing Andrew Smith received a yellow card, Ospreys responded with two tries in the space of four minutes, the first from Olly Cracknell, the second from centre Owen Watkin, both converted by Josh Thomas.

The replacement outhalf Thomas then produced the game-defining moment, charging down Byrne’s attempted clearance and then regathering after the ball spilled from Max O’Reilly’s grasp. He converted his try to push the visitors out to 24-19 and they held on for a thoroughly deserved victory.

SCORING SEQUENCE – 20 mins: Byrne try, Frawley con, 7-0; 26: Price pen, 7-3; 26: J Osborne try, 12-3. Half-time: 12-3; 43: Byrne pen, Frawley con, 19-3; 68: Cracknell try, Thomas con, 19-10; 72: Watkin try, Thomas con, 19-17; 76: Thomas try, Thomas con, 19-24.

LEINSTER: M O’Reilly; R O’Loughlin, J Osborne, C Frawley, D Kearney; H Byrne, R Osborne; P Dooley, S Cronin, M Bent; R Molony, D Toner; S Fardy (capt), S Penny, J Murphy.

Replacements: S O’Brien for Murphy (blood) 19-30 mins); H O’Sullivan for R Osborne (half-time); D Sheehan for Fardy (46 mins); T Clarkson for Bent; J Dunne for Murphy (blood) (both 51 mins); M Hanan for Dooley; Murphy for Penny (both 62 mins); A Smith for Kearney (65 mins); Bent for Clarkson (67 mins); Penny for Cronin (72 mins); T Corkery for Frawley (79 mins).

Yellow card: A Smith (67 mins).

OSPREYS: D Evans (capt): D Cross, O Watkin, K Williams, C Evans; L Price, R Morgan-Williams; R Henry, S Parry, M Fia: L Ashley, R Davies; W Griffiths, M Morris, G Evans.

Replacements: J Hawkins for K Williams (7 mins); T Botha for Morris (20-30 mins) and Fia (54 mins); D Lake for Parry; G Phillips for Henry; O Cracknell for Griffiths; S Cross for G Evans (all 56 mins); S Venter for Evans; J Thomas for Price (both 63 mins); C Evans for Cross (67 mins).

Yellow card: M Fia (19 mins).

Referee: C Busby (Ireland)

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
GO BACK
Error Image
The account details entered are not currently associated with an Irish Times subscription. Please subscribe to sign in to comment.
Comment Sign In

Forgot password?
The Irish Times Logo
Thank you
You should receive instructions for resetting your password. When you have reset your password, you can Sign In.
The Irish Times Logo
Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.
Screen Name Selection

Hello

Please choose a screen name. This name will appear beside any comments you post. Your screen name should follow the standards set out in our community standards.

The Irish Times Logo
Commenting on The Irish Times has changed. To comment you must now be an Irish Times subscriber.
SUBSCRIBE
Forgot Password
Please enter your email address so we can send you a link to reset your password.

Sign In

Your Comments
We reserve the right to remove any content at any time from this Community, including without limitation if it violates the Community Standards. We ask that you report content that you in good faith believe violates the above rules by clicking the Flag link next to the offending comment or by filling out this form. New comments are only accepted for 3 days from the date of publication.