Ospreys v Scarlets

Discussion in 'Guinness Pro14' started by An Tarbh, Dec 27, 2008.

  1. An Tarbh

    An Tarbh Guest

    <div align='center'>[​IMG][​IMG]
    Ospreys v Scarlets</div>

    Wales scrum-half Mike Phillips makes his first start since March in the Ospreys' Magners League game against the Scarlets on Saturday.

    Phillips played his first 30 minutes, in the Magners League defeat at the Dragons, since suffering knee ligament damage in March.

    But there is no place in the west Wales derby at the Liberty Stadium for Scarlets' Stephen Jones, who is rested.

    Rhys Priestland comes in at fly-half with Morgan Stoddart back at full-back.

    Stoddart has missed the last two matches with a shoulder problem.

    With the Scarlets still having wing problems they have drafted in Gareth Morris, the former Neath and current Llandovery player.

    Up front Samoan hooker Mo Schwalger takes over from Matthew Rees (shoulder).

    And there is no place for another Wales hooker - Huw Bennett, who had been expected to play for the Ospreys. Bennett's ankle injury kept him out of the autumn Tests.

    Shane Williams is also sidelined with a shoulder injury and will be out for a fortnight. Jonny Vaughton continues on the left wing.

    Phillips says he is relishing his full return in such a big game against his former region.

    "This game has been a sell-out for a few months and it shows how passionate the people are and it's going to be great for the players," Phillips told BBC Sport Wales.

    "It will be a great spectacle and hopefully great to play in front of.

    "We are more than capable of putting in a good performance against the Scarlets and hopefully getting a win."

    Nikki Walker, Duncan Jones, Ian Evans, Ben Lewis and Andy Lloyd remain long-term Ospreys casualties, while Jonathan Spratt and Gareth Owen should return in the new year.

    The Ospreys have lost three of their last four in the league, but have won their last six at the Liberty Stadium in all competitions.

    The Scarlets have won just one of their last six away matches, but have triumphed in three of their last four clashes with Welsh opposition and did the league double over the Ospreys last season.

    Scarlets skipper Simon Easterby has told his side to copy the Dragons' example against the Ospreys in the 20,000 sell-out festive derby.

    "I think what the Dragons did, they showed exactly how to beat the Ospreys," said Easterby.

    "They showed them no respect and got stuck into them and it was a really good derby match."

    The Scarlets head to Liberty Stadium boosted by their first victory at new home Parc y Scarlets, Saturday's 27-13 win over the Blues.

    Easterby added: "It [playing the Ospreys] doesn't get much bigger than that in our eyes.

    "We'll take a lot of confidence out of [beating the Blues]. We ground out the win and we've got to go to the Ospreys looking forward and hopefully - we won there last year - we can do it this year."

    After failing to beat Ulster in back-to-back Heineken Cup games, Easterby said beating Welsh rivals the Blues in the league was a boost.

    "[It was] a bit of a relief - third game here [Parc y Scarlets], first win and it was important that we got the result tonight.

    "It wasn't pretty. We ground it out. We had very good field position. We kicked well and we chased well.

    "We just couldn't get away from them for the last 15 minutes, but it was a good, solid, all-round effort and something that we needed."

    The retired Irish international flanker says with their competitive interest in Europe and the EDF Energy Cup ended, their sights are on the league going into the New Year.

    "The league position is quite tight anyway so there's not much probably between third and last place, you know.

    "There's only a few points in it. So it's important we keep climbing the table… it's the only tournament we can win this year so it would be nice to get on a bit of a roll."

    Ospreys: Lee Byrne; Tommy Bowe, Sonny Parker, Gavin Henson, Jonny Vaughton; James Hook, Mike Phillips; Paul James, Richard Hibbard, Adam Jones, Alun Wyn Jones, Jonathan Thomas, Ryan Jones (capt), Steve Tandy, Filo Titia.
    Replacements: Ed Shervington, Cai Griffiths, Ian Gough, Marty Holah, Jamie Nutbrown, Dan Biggar, Andrew Bishop.

    Scarlets: Morgan Stoddart; Gareth Morris, Regan King, Jonathan Davies, Mark Jones; Rhys Priestland, Martin Roberts; Phil John, Mo Schwalger, Deacon Manu, Lou Reed, Simon Maling, Vernon Cooper (capt), Johnathan Edwards, David Lyons.
    Replacements: Craig Cross, Ken Owens, Dominic Day, Josh Turnbull, Dafydd Jones, Gavin Cattle, Ceiron Thomas.

    Referee: Nigel Owen (WRU)

    BBC Sport
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  3. An Tarbh

    An Tarbh Guest

    well Peter McKenna may think this is a decent game but he did say he found 3 minutes of aerial ping pong entertaining despite not being pretty to watch so work that one out.

    A few decent breaks but nothing to write home about, hope the second half is much improved.
  4. Sir Speedy

    Sir Speedy Guest

    Phillips' glory-hunting looks to have cost Ospreys a walkover try.
    While he's busy learning how to play with his team, he should learn how to pass aswell...
  5. An Tarbh

    An Tarbh Guest

    was just about to say that but there's a quote from the ref, I'll never make a scrum half, but you'll never make a referee so let's both do our jobs, about the only decent thing he's done all night, yellow cards for not releasing I ask you.
  6. Sir Speedy

    Sir Speedy Guest

    Meh, it's been a terrible second half. Phillips try being the only highlight (the idiot brigade of the Western Mail no doubt had orgasms, and will be deeming him a certain Lions starter now, despite the numerous decision-making errors he made) as both sides have lacked clinicality.
    13 - 6 with 2 minutes left.

    EDIT: Opened my mouth too soon. Try Ryan Jones. 20 - 6.
  7. cyRil

    cyRil Guest

    Poor and unnecessarily tight game. Should have put another 2 tries on them, and there were a few who underperformed.
    Still, there is no better feeling in the world than beating the Turks! :p
  8. Cymro

    Cymro Guest

    Turks showed some fight against the O's almost full strength side!

    Not a great game to be honest!
  9. cyRil

    cyRil Guest

    Fight is all they really brought, they offered nothing else and we made it hard for ourselves.
    Hook is still not performing, and that is hampering our ability to play well.
  10. SmokeyMonkey

    SmokeyMonkey Guest

    Anyone see Henson having a go at Ryan Jones?! :p
  11. cyRil

    cyRil Guest

    Yeah, I loved that. Shows he's got the fire and determination, and that is only a good thing for us, Wales and the Lions.
  12. RC

    RC Guest

    Sir Speedy sounds a little bitter if you ask me.
    Phillips had a good game, especially considering it was his first start after injury. He made a couple of bad passes, but he threatened the line, he was strong in defence and had a decent kicking game...plus he got in that try. I can't fault him.
    I was loving seeing henson have a go at ryan! That was quality.

    We should have put more on the turks to be fair, they only looked like scoring a couple of times and outside of those chances their backs did very little and they threatened very little.
    Hook is an absolute abomination. His kicking game is poor and in all honesty the way he commands the game is way off mark. Mike Phillips ended up making some decisions that you just KNOW hook wouldn't have made.

    I feel once again Phillips proves his worth.
    The WoS and WM have every right to have an orgasm over him. He's just returning and look how much infulence he has. Same can be said about Gav.

    Methinks Wales would have won the test against the saffas had Gav and Mike been in the game...
  13. An Tarbh

    An Tarbh Guest

    <div class='quotetop'>QUOTE (RC @ Dec 28 2008, 11:21 AM) <{POST_SNAPBACK}></div>
    well no bitterness from me here but I thought his decision making was poor at times, that should improve with game time but it's a valid criticism.
  14. cyRil

    cyRil Guest

    What creased me most was the Turks having Gareth Morris on the wing!!!
    He was Neath's fullback when I went to watch them down the Gnoll when I was 8! :p
  15. RC

    RC Guest

    Hey, nothing wrong with Gareth Morris...although it's all relative when you look at the type of wingers he's up against to earn his spot.
    Did someone say Darren Daniels? Snore. ;)
  16. cyRil

    cyRil Guest

    Next Welsh winger according to Phil Bennett!!
    They've got some French guy N'Gog on the bench for tonight, they really are desperate.
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