• Biggar boots Ospreys to victory

    Dan Biggar scored 20 points to lead the Ospreys to a 25-13 win over the Exeter Chiefs in the European Champions Cup on Sunday.

    The Wales flyhalf uncharacteristically missed three shots at goal, but still maintained his composure and slotted several crucial kicks at key moments, while also producing some sublime pieces of general play.

    Although the Ospreys trailed by four points at half-time, Biggar knocked over three penalties and a drop goal in the second stanza, while opposite number Gareth Steenson converted just the solitary three-pointer as the hosts opened up an 18-13 lead heading into the final 10 minutes.

    The result in Swansea was then sealed when inside centre Josh Matavesi intercepted a loose pass and dashed over for the Ospreys’ solitary match-winning try.

    Heading into Sunday’s match, the two teams had experienced differing starts to their domestic seasons, with the Ospreys having picked up just two wins from their first seven fixtures in the Pro 12, while the Chiefs had emerged victorious in their last three fixtures in the English Premiership.

    However, it would be the Ospreys who made the better start on Sunday as they gained the upper hand upfront, while Biggar knocked over a couple of penalties as the Chiefs were left to rue a scrappy opening quarter.

    The English side gradually worked their way into the match, though, and after Steenson opened their scoring with a 25th-minute penalty, they began to exert further control over proceedings.

    Luke Cowan-Dickie looked to have scored just before the half-hour mark, but the hooker knocked the ball on over the line, although it didn’t take long for the visitors to successfully finish off the first try of the match.

    Scrumhalf Will Chudley made a beautiful break and put left winger James Short away for a well-taken try, which saw the Chiefs establish a 10-6 half-time lead, with Biggar missing two penalty attempts before the break.

    He would miss one more in the 46th minute, but ultimately Biggar achieved redemption as he guided the Ospreys to a good win.

    Earlier on Sunday, Wasps secured an impressive 33-6 win over three-time winners Leinster in Dublin.

    Although the scores were deadlocked at 6-6 after a competitive opening quarter, Wasps dominated the final hour, with Christian Wade, Joe Simpson and Charles Piutau all scoring on a forgettable day for Leinster.

    Meanwhile, tries from Ken Pisi and Alex Waller saw Northampton clinch a hard-fought 15-11 victory over the Scarlets at Franklin's Gardens.

    Although Gareth Davies scored an excellent try to briefly put the Scarlets into the lead early in the second half, Northampton ultimately fought back to claim a deserved victory.

    Ospreys – Try: Josh Matavesi. Conversion: Dan Biggar. Penalties: Biggar (5). Drop goal: Biggar.
    Chiefs – Try: James Short. Conversion: Gareth Steenson. Penalties: Steenson (2).

    Wasps – Christian Wade, Joe Simpson, Charles Piutau. Conversions: Ruaridh Jackson (2), Alex Lozowski. Penalties: Jackson (3), Elliot Daly.
    Leinster – Penalties: Johnny Sexton (2).

    Northampton – Tries: Ken Pisi, Ethan Waller. Conversions: JJ Hanrahan, Penalty: Hanrahan.
    Scarlets – Try: Gareth Davies, Penalties: Steven Shingler (2).

    Photo: Stu Forster/Getty Images

    Post by

    Craig Lewis