European Challenge Cup: Ospreys 45-0 Newcastle Falcons

By Nick WebbBBC Wales Sport
Dan Biggar
Ospreys' Dan Biggar scored five conversions from seven attempts against Newcastle Falcons
European Challenge Cup: Ospreys v Newcastle Falcons
Ospreys (19) 45
Tries: Biggar, Webb, Beck, Baldwin, Tipuric, Giles 2 Cons: Biggar 5
Newcastle (0) 0

Ospreys made a flying start on their Challenge Cup debut with a bonus-point victory over a much-changed Newcastle Falcons.

Wales scrum-half Rhys Webb created a try for Dan Biggar and scored one himself, before Ashley Beck made it 19-0 to the hosts at half-time.

Scott Baldwin got the vital fourth try, with Justin Tipuric scoring a brilliant solo try and Keelan Giles grabbing two.

Biggar landed five conversions from seven attempts as the hosts dominated.

Newcastle started brightly with wing Marcus Watson threatening, but could not take advantage of their early possession.

Webb broke the stalemate in the 20th minute with a superb break to put Biggar over, and added the second himself with an impudent chip and chase from 10 metres out.

A fine offload by Giles saw Beck go round the outside to add a third to give the Ospreys a comfortable half-time lead.

It took just 14 minutes of the second half for the bonus point to be sealed as hooker Baldwin was driven over from a line-out.

Tipuric then scored a remarkable try straight from the restart as he collected, stormed downfield and put in a kick and chase to score from 60 metres.

Dan Evans kept up the momentum with a fine break to put Giles clear on the hour and the teenager, a late call-up to the side, rounded off a team move for his second after 70 minutes.

Biggar passed the 500-point mark in European rugby as he managed to play through an ankle knock and finish the game.

In the group's other game, Lyon secured a 39-13 bonus-point win at Grenoble.

Ospreys head coach Steve Tandy told BBC Wales Sport:

"I'm really satisfied, I thought the boys were pretty efficient tonight- Newcastle really battled hard and kept the ball for large passages, but our defence held up, and to score seven tries is pleasing.

"It's really good to get the bonus point as early as you can and it allows you to give people a break, but I think the bench is still adding and the boys who came on stuck to the plan.

"I think it's important we go to France [Lyon] next week not just to hang on, but to really try and impose ourselves on the game.

"We were unlucky away from home in Europe last year and picked some good losing bonus points, so we'll go there to be positive, hopefully score tries and make a real fist of the game."

Newcastle Falcons director of rugby Dean Richards:

"That bit of extra experience counts massively and a couple of the opportunist tries the Ospreys scored highlighted the chinks in our armour and they exploited that.

"That accuracy and ability to exploit things doesn't happen overnight and that experience counts for a huge amount.

"We could sit down and have a go at the youngsters who went out there, or you can say it's a great experience, you played against some good players, you can learn from it and let's right the wrongs next week."

Man of the Match: Justin Tipuric (Ospreys)

Ospreys: Dan Evans; Keelan Giles, Ben John, Ashley Beck, Eli Walker; Dan Biggar, Rhys Webb; Paul James, Scott Baldwin, Ma'afu Fia, Rory Thornton, Alun Wyn Jones (Capt), Dan Lydiate, Justin Tipuric, Dan Baker.

Replacements: Sam Parry, Gareth Thomas, Rhodri Jones, Lloyd Ashley, James King, Tom Habberfield, Sam Davies, Josh Matavesi.

Newcastle Falcons: Brett Connon; Marcus Watson, Fred Burdon (captain), Craig Willis, Belisario Agulla; Joel Hodgson, Michael Young; Alex Rogers, Ben Sowrey, David Wilson, Will Witty, Nick Civetta, Glen Young, Daniel Temm, Harrison Orr

Replacements: David Nelson, Sam Lockwood, Andrew Foster, Mouritz Botha, Callum Chick, Sam Egerton, Juan Pablo Socino, Alex Tait.

Attendance 7,352

Referee: David Wilkinson (Ire)

Assistant referees: Kieran Barry, Shane Kiernans (Ire).