RaboDirect Pro12: Ospreys 17-12 Cardiff Blues

Ospreys (6) 17

  • Try: Bowe
  • Pens: M Morgan 2, Biggar 2

Cardiff Blues (6) 12

  • Pens: Halfpenny 3
  • Drop-goal: Parks
Gavin Henson is beaten to the ball

Gavin Henson fails to take this high ball against the Ospreys

The Ospreys held out against Cardiff Blues as Gavin Henson returned to the Liberty Stadium for the first time following his controversial departure lin October 2010 .

Home wing Tommy Bowe scored the only try in the 50th minute.

Ospreys starting fly-half Matthew Morgan and his second-half replacement Dan Biggar kicked 12 points between them.

Leigh Halfpenny and Dan Parks shared the Blues' points.

Home fly-half Morgan kicked two early penalties before producing the most memorable moment of the opening period with a wonderful 40-metre break.

The move fizzled out after the diminutive fly-half was halted because support players were in short supply.

Henson replied with a telling contribution of his own, lofting the ball high into the night sky and effortlessly winning the aerial battle to reclaim possession before handing on to number eight Xavier Rush.

Ospreys' Ryan Jones celebrates 'big win'

Like Morgan moments earlier, Rush found no-one at his shoulder and the Blues' earliest threat was thwarted.

And it was left to wing Leigh Halfpenny to bring the visitors back level with two replies to Morgan's efforts at goal.

The 6-6 half-time scoreline hardly reflected the attacking intent shown by both teams.

Morgan and Henson were not alone in displaying their ability with Ospreys wing Shane Williams and Blues flanker Josh Navidi also making their mark.

But later goal-kicking failures prompted the Ospreys to bring on Biggar in Morgan's place.

Likewise Blues' 10 Ceri Sweeney made way for reliable points-gatherer Dan Parks at the break to complement long-range expert Halfpenny in front of the posts.

Bowe broke the try-scoring deadlock after Ashley Beck's offload gave Tom Isaacs the chance to send the Irish wing sliding over at the corner.

Morgan was unable to convert the 51st-minute try and Bigger entered the fray eight minutes later.

Halfpenny added a third penalty in response to leave the contest finely balanced.

Biggar was wide with a an angled shot but Parks proved equal to his task with a drop-goal for the Blues to take the lead with 11 minutes remaining.

Henson's fell to his knees in embarrassment after hashing a clearance attempt that gave the Ospreys a good attacking platform.

The visitors gave away a penalty at scrum resulting from the line-out chance Henson created for his former team Biggar put his side back in front.

Biggar penalised another Blues' scrum offence with the final kick of the game to seal victory.

TEAM DETAILS:

Ospreys: B Davies; Bowe, Bishop, Beck, Williams; Morgan, Fotuali'i; Bevington, Hibbard, A Jones, R Jones, J Thomas, King, Tipuric, Stowers.

Replacements: Isaacs for Bishop (46), Biggar for Morgan (59), Webb for Fotuali'i (51), D Jones for Bevington (55), Bennett for Hibbard (55), Smith for King (6), Bearman for Stowers (56).

Not Used: Jarvis.

Cardiff Blues: Henson; Halfpenny, Laulala, Evans, Cuthbert; Sweeney, L Williams; Yapp, Breeze, Andrews, B Davies, Tito (capt), Molitika, Navidi, Rush.

Replacements: Parks for Sweeney (40), Rees for L Williams (64), Hobbs for Yapp (62), R. Williams for Breeze (70), Paterson for Tito (6).

Not Used: Harford, Robinson, Young.

Att: 11,186

Referee: Nigel Owens (Wales).

Assistant Referees: Tim Hayes, Wayne Davies

Citing Commissioner: John Charles

TMO: Nigel Whitehouse