I’m not too sure how I feel about the fact that there was a power cut at my house today; so no replay to watch! Annoying really! And no easy catch up option as it was on BT Sport. Oh well, from a few highlights and memory it will be!

As I was walking the ground I overheard 2 women talking, with one telling the other – ‘Saracens will win this’. I did wonder if she’d noticed the strength of the opposition, with several current and recent Wales players included. Any team that has Alun Wyn Jones in their line up is going to be one that presents a challenge. I was certain the team themselves wouldn’t be talking Ospreys lightly.

Owen Farrell opened the scoring, having missed one penalty kick he slotted one from in front of the posts to put Saracens ahead after 10 minutes. But the Ospreys hit back with a lovely try 2 minutes later, Owen Williams passing to the powerful looking Keiran Williams who broke through before passing to Fullback Michael Collins, Owen Williams, who started for Wales in a couple of matches converted the try and Ospreys had a 4 point lead.

It looked like Saracens had hit back moments later; Jamie George thought he’d done enough but the referee was in a good position and called held up, there was nothing to be seen for the TMO to over-turn his initial thoughts. Saracens have been playing some lovely running rugby this season but they seemed to abandon that route in the first half and they just couldn’t break through the Ospreys pack.

Ospreys kept Saracens at bay well in the first half

.It was the visitors who were next up on the scoreboard. Nick Tompkins who’d been playing with a fair few of the Ospreys in Paris a couple of weeks ago, lost the ball when Ethan Roots tackled him, cue prop Nicky Smith who stormed down the pitch before passing to his captain Justin Tipuric, who also showed his speed, Tipuric was taken down but the ball was recycled and Owen Williams somehow flicked the ball up to Kearan Williams from the ground, having been provider, Williams (K) became scorer, the other Williams (O) converted the try and the score was Saracens 3 Ospreys 14 after 23 minutes.

Justin Tipuric made good ground
Kearan Williams scored the try!

Several penalties were swapped, but a Saracens knock on close to the line was the catalyst for the next points, One area the Saracens pack did seem to have the edge over the Ospreys was the scrum and they won a penalty from the resulting one. Farrell added the 3 points to close the gap to 8. The Ospreys fans travelled in numbers and did a great job of supporting their team, they were very loud. Not so great were the chants of cheat, cheat, cheat, for no apparent reason. Not a fan of that at all.

I am a fan of how Max Malins has been playing the last couple of weeks, he could easily have been Man of The Match at Spurs. He showed great strength as the clock went over 40 minutes. Somehow managing to keep hold of the ball with 3 Ospreys hanging off him, he just got the tip of the ball down, and after much checking the try was given. The conversion was good and the teams went in with just a point between them.

Try number 1 for Max Malins
Congratulations for Malins

Kearan Williams had fallen foul of too many Ospreys penalties given away on 37 minutes when he failed to release Ben Earl on the ground, after a great first half, he was sent to the bin for 10 minutes. A double blow for Ospreys, as they then lost their captain Justin Tipuric with an injury on 38 minutes.

The second half saw Mako Vunipola show that anything Nick Smith could do , he could too, he stormed up the pitch, sadly (as a Saracens fan) his brother, Billy Vunipola couldn’t take the pass. The same thing happened again 5 minutes later, oh to be a fly on the wall when the brothers chatted after the game! In the middle Owen Williams kicked a difficult penalty to stretch the Ospreys lead to 4.

Williams next penalty opportunity was in front of the posts and the lead was now 7, not bad considering Ospreys had been a man down. Saracens fans then saw the benefits of having a player who’d started out with the intention of playing at 10, in Alex Goode, kicking the ball through to a flanker who’d make a great Centre. Andy Christie caught the ball and passed neatly to Max Malins who ran in to score, Farrell added the extras and it was 20 apiece.

No stats as yet, but the line out went well for Saracens today

Saracens took the lead for the first time since early in the second half when Farrell kicked a penalty; it felt like they’d remembered they played running rugby in this second half.

Now, let’s talk about Rhys Webb, a player who can be one of those match changing geniuses, but wow, he made a massive error on 68 minutes, Ospreys had mixed success in the line out and that may well be why he decided to go for a quick throw in, Duncan Taylor, newly on the pitch was the recipient of that throw, which was rather wild; and he had pure space in front of him! One horror moment for Ospreys and Webb, one try for Saracens, duly converted that took the scores to Saracens 30 Ospreys 20.

This had been Saracens half as much as the first had been Ospreys and they finished it off with another try after Farrell kicked to the corner after a penalty, replacement Hooker Tom Woolstencroft getting over the line.

Tom Woolstencroft touches down

The final score of Saracens 35 Ospreys 20 flattered the home team to a degree, but it is them who will travel to La Rochelle to play the Champions on Easter Sunday. Both Andy Christie and Alec Cleary went off with what looked like worrying arm injuries, hopefully both aren’t as bad as they looked. Ben Earl, who could win that Man of the Match award most weeks received the accolade today.

Ben Earl, a man of many talents
Andy Christie in action, hoping he’s ok

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