The Ospreys fought back from ten points down at the start of the second half to edge Cardiff Blues 40-27 in a Judgement Day thriller. The lead chopped and changed throughout the half, but Rhys Webb’s two tries in the final five minutes gifted the Ospreys victory in front of thousands at the Principality Stadium.
Ospreys made the better start to the game but couldn’t find the breakthrough. Minutes later the Blues made the Swansea based club pay after Anscombe’s penalty in front of the posts.
The game remained scrappy until the 25th minute when Ospreys scored the games’ first try.
Flanker James King crossed over after bursting through a gap in the Blues’ defence. Biggar was spot on with the extras to give Steve Tandy’s side a four point advantage. Sam Warburton trudged off with a shoulder injury, as Anscombe added his second penalty of the game.
And on the cusp of half-time, Anscombe made it three from three to give the Blues a slender lead at the break.
Cardiff continued from where they left off and made a blistering start to the second half. Aled Summerhill touched down after Anscombe’s clever, looping pass. The conversion was skewed horribly wide from the New Zealand born fly-half, but he soon made amends with a penalty in the 49th minute.
But the Ospreys soon came back. After recycling the ball well, Hanno Dirksen scored in the corner with Dan Biggar uncharacteristically wide with the conversion.
Soon after, Dirksen found his second of the match. Tom Isaacs misread a clever Webb kick as Owen Watkin capitalised and offloaded to the open arms of Dirksen who slid over. Biggar found his rhythm and slotted the kick from out wide.
But the Blues came back fighting and took the lead once more. After patient running rugby, Josh Navidi powered through to battle his way under the posts, Anscombe slotted the two points to set up an exciting finale.
With ten minutes to go, Ospreys edged back ahead. Biggar turned down an easy three points and went for the corner. That decision proved significant as Cardiff University student, Sam Underhill scored with Biggar’s conversion putting the Ospreys ahead by two.
But at the resulting kick-off, Ospreys’ Sam Parry recklessly blocked Dan Fish to give the Blues a simple penalty in front of the posts – which Anscombe duly scored to edge Cardiff ahead by one with eight minutes to play.
The game took yet another twist, but this time it proved decisive. After some leaky defending, Ospreys captain Webb sneakily leapt over the ruck to touch down and minutes later the Wales scrum half scored once more to put the seal on the victory.
Man of the Match: James King (Ospreys)