Owen Williams seals drama-laden late victory for Ospreys over Leicester

Owen Williams knocked over a conversion with 92 minutes showing on the clock to give Ospreys a remarkable Champions Cup victory over Leicester.

After being second-best for most of match, Ospreys battered the opposition line for the whole of the last 15 minutes but somehow Leicester kept them out. However, a yellow card for the replacement prop Dan Richardson proved the final straw as countless replays were shown before Jac Morgan was credited with a close-range try to secure a thrilling victory.

Jack van Poortvliet and Harry Simmons scored Leicester’s tries, with Handrè Pollard converting both and adding four penalties. Dewi Lake, Keelan Giles and Morgan crossed for the Ospreys. Williams kicked two penalties and two conversions with Cai Evans adding a conversion.

Leicester took an early lead when Pollard kicked a penalty after Ospreys skipper Justin Tipuric was harshly adjudged to have infringed at the breakdown. Ospreys soon had a similar penalty opportunity but they elected for an attacking lineout and were rewarded when Lake crashed over.

Leicester responded quickly with a succession of lineout drives putting the visitors under extreme pressure. With their defence tied in, Van Poortvliet saw a gap to race over.

Three minutes later, Leicester looked to have scored again when Simmons tore through a huge hole to run 30 metres and crash over the opposition line but TMO replays showed the wing had been held up by an excellent cover tackle by Michael Collins. However the hosts were still able to extend their lead with a penalty from Pollard before Ospreys suffered another setback when Evans hobbled off to be replaced by George North.

Owen Williams scores a conversion for Ospreys
Owen Williams held his nerve in the 92nd minute to put Ospreys through to the last 16. Photograph: Ben Evans/Huw Evans/Shutterstock

In the absence of Evans, Williams took over the goal-kicking with his 40-metre attempt sailing wide. But he made amends with another kick from a similar distance.

Ospreys suffered another injury blow when the hooker Lake was helped off with a leg injury to be replaced by Scott Baldwin, but committed tackling kept Leicester out before a second penalty from Williams brought the scores level at 13-13 at the interval.

Leicester began the second half strongly with an excellent break from Pollard winning his side a platform in the opposition 22. From there the Tigers maintained the pressure and a pre-planned move saw Simmons bemuse the visitors to score his side’s second try.

The hosts looked in control but they gifted their opponents the chance to remain in contention. Deep in the Ospreys 22, Tigers threw a wild pass which Joe Hawkins hacked on before Giles collected to stroll 65 metres to score with a conversion from Williams tying up the scores going into the final quarter.

Two penalties in quick succession from Pollard saw Leicester regain the lead before Ospreys staged a tremendous late rally. Both North and Kieran Williams were hauled down inches short before Morgan’s late effort gave them a huge victory.


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