Pro14: Ospreys 32-18 Leinster

Pro14: Ospreys v Leinster
Ospreys (19) 32
Tries: Evans 2, Habberfield, Tipuric Cons: Biggar 3 Pens: Biggar 2
Leinster (8) 18
Tries: Daly, O'Loughlin Cons: Carbery Pens: Byrne, Carbery

Ospreys improved their prospects of Champions Cup qualification by beating Leinster with a bonus point win.

The result also helps fellow Welsh region Scarlets, who do not lose ground on Conference B leaders Leinster despite losing in Munster.

Dan Evans scored twice with Tom Habberfield and Justin Tipuric also crossing as the hosts earned their bonus point inside the hour mark.

Leinster's defeat was just their fourth of the whole season in Pro14.

The Ospreys had adopted a policy of throwing all their heavy hitters against Leinster in a pivotal match for their Champions Cup prospects.

They headed into the weekend sixth in Conference A, but retaining hopes of qualifying for Europe's top competition.

Tipuric started for the final time before he joins Wales Sevens for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.

The open-side flanker was joined by fellow Wales Six Nations players in Dan Biggar, Bradley Davies, Alun Wyn Jones and Nicky Smith in starting for the hosts with Owen Watkin on the bench.

Ireland Grand Slam winner Joey Carbery returned at full-back for Leinster, partnering fly-half Ross Byrne.

Byrne's boot gave the visitors an early lead after a needless foul from Sam Cross, but Ospreys' Wales stars then combined for the opening try of the match.

Biggar's kick allowed Ospreys to gain territory and after approach play led by Tipuric, Evans went over in the corner with Biggar adding the extras.

Evans continued his scoring form on 26 minutes, collecting Kieron Fonotia's pass to again cross in the corner.

The Ospreys added a third try when Tom Habberfield crossed and Biggar gave them a 19-3 advantage, but Barry Daly crashed over for Leinster just a minute later with the try given after a TMO review, though Byrne could not add the extras.

However, hopes of a comeback for Leinster effectively evaporated when Tipuric crossed after Fonotia and Ashley Beck combined with Biggar again adding the extra points.

Leinster again made a quick response with Rory O'Loughlin scoring their second try and Carbery converting.

Carbery and Biggar then exchanged penalties to give Ospreys a 29-18 lead with 20 minutes remaining.

The Ospreys needed to dig-in and did so, with Biggar's penalty the final score of the match.

Ospreys acting head coach Allen Clarke told BBC Sport Wales: "Getting five points was fantastic, we'd have taken a one-point win but I thought we put on a pretty complete performance with and without the ball.

"I thought Justin Tipuric was world-class, you can see why Wales sevens are after him in terms of his touches on the ball and his energy around the field.

"The table's a better picture for us (overtaking Connacht), and we've got Connacht next so we've got our destiny in our own hands and as a minimum we want that play-off (for a Champions Cup place.)"

Ospreys: Dan Evans; Jeff Hassler, Kieron Fonotia, Ashley Beck, Hanno Dirksen; Dan Biggar, Tom Habberfield; Nicky Smith, Scott Otten, Dmitri Arhip, Bradley Davies, Alun Wyn Jones (capt), Olly Cracknell, Justin Tipuric, Sam Cross

Replacements: Ifan Phillips, Rhodri Jones, Ma'afu Fia, Adam Beard, Rob McCusker, Matthew Aubrey, Sam Davies, Owen Watkin.

Leinster: Joey Carbery; Fergus McFadden, Rory O'Loughlin, Noel Reid, Barry Daly; Ross Byrne, Luke McGrath; Jack McGrath, Seán Cronin, Andrew Porter, Ross Molony, Scott Fardy, Josh Murphy, Jordi Murphy, Jack Conan

Replacements: James Tracy, Ed Byrne, Michael Bent, Ian Nagle, Max Deegan, Jamison Gibson-Park, Dave Kearney, Adam Byrne

Referee: John Lacey (IRFU)

Assistant referees: Andrew Brace (IRFU), Frank Murphy (IRFU)

TMO: Simon McDowell (IRFU)

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