Jan 13, 2018
Sarries And Ospreys Draw in Attritional Affair
Owen Farrell scored 15-points as Saracens emerged from a scrappy contest with a 15-15 draw against the Ospreys on Saturday evening.
The draw means that Saracens remain in third place in the Champions Cup group, two points behind Ospreys who travel to the fortress Stade Marcel-Michelin to play Clermont next weekend while Sarries host Northampton, who are already out.
The first-half was a cagey affair and Farrell’s boot was unerring in its precision as he notched up three penalties to send Sarries into the interval with a 6-9 lead.
Sarries and Ospreys continued to trade blows in the attritional affair as the set-piece continued to dictate the play before Sarries were reduced to 14-men in controversial fashion with 15 minutes to play after Chris Wyles’ yellow-card.
Farrell looked to have won the game for Sarries in the 74th minute but a last-minute penalty was awarded by John Lacey to give Welsh international Biggar a chance to level the scores. He wasn’t going to be asked twice and scored to make the final score 15-15.
Saracens got the scoring underway in the fifth minute, the boot of Owen Farrell once again proving a reliable outlet for the Men in Black as the England international got the ball rolling with a good kick.
In the 19th minute, Farrell was on the mark once again. This time he landed a kick from long-range to double the visitors’ lead as the game adopted an attritional tone. On the half-hour mark Dan Biggar landed a kick to halve the deficit and score the hosts’ first points of the game.
On 34 minutes, Farrell landed a further penalty kick after a good spell of pressure from the Saracens ranks before Biggar notched a kick over the posts with the final kick of the half the make the score at the break 6-9 in an engaging contest.
Biggar tied the scores with another penalty from the left of the posts in the 44th minute but the state of parity did not last long as Farrell edged Sarries back in front three minutes later.
Chris Wyles was questionably sent to the sin-bin after 65 minutes for taking a man out in the air when it looked as though the initial contact was made by an Ospreys player. The hosts capitalised in the 72nd minute, making the extra man count by scoring a penalty.
Farrell restored the visitors’ lead two minutes later before Biggar scored a penalty in the final minute to make the score 15-15 and take the Pool 2 qualification race into the final week
Ospreys: 15 Sam Davies, 14 Jeff Hassler, 13 Ashley Beck, 12 Owen Watkin, 11 Dan Evans, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Rob McCusker, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Olly Cracknell (W.Jones 71'), 5 Alun Wyn Jones (c), 4 Bradley Davies (Beard 73'), 3 Dmitri Arhip (Fia 65'), 2 Scott Baldwin (Otten 65'), 1 Nicky Smith
Replacements: 16 Scott Otten, 17 Gareth Thomas, 18 Ma’afu Fia, 19 Adam Beard, 20 Will Jones, 21 Tom Habberfield, 22 Kieron Fonotia, 23 Dafydd Howells.
Penalties Biggar 5/5
Saracens: 15 Alex Goode, 14 Sean Maitland (Wyles 58'), 13 Marcelo Bosch (Lozowski 73'), 12 Brad Barritt, 11 Liam Williams, 10 Owen Farrell, 9 Richard Wigglesworth, 8 Billy Vunipola (Burger 41'), 7 Calum Clark, 6 Michael Rhodes (Kruis 41'), 5 Will Skelton (Tolofua 71'), 4 Maro Itoje, 3 Vincent Koch (Figallo 60'), 2 Jamie George, 1 Mako Vunipola
Replacements: 16 Christopher Tolofua, 17 Richard Barrington, 18 Juan Figallo, 19 George Kruis, 20 Schalk Burger, 21 Ben Spencer, 22 Alex Lozowski, 23 Chris Wyles.
Penalties Farrell 5/5
Yellow card Wyles(66')
Man of the match: Justin Tipuric