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Pro14

Leinster Battle Past Spirited Ospreys

Leinster have made it 12 wins from 12 in the PRO14 with a big performance against a dogged Ospreys side

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(Photo By Ramsey Cardy/Sportsfile via Getty Images)

Leinster have made it 12 wins in a row in the PRO14 with a 21-13 victory against the Ospreys at the Gnoll tonight.

It extends their winning streak to 18 across all competitions so far this season, but they were made to work for the result by a battling Ospreys side. 

The Ospreys had the better of the game early on and had a chance to take the lead with a penalty but it hit the upright from long-range. 

They were made to pay for that miss just before the quarter of an hour mark as Tommy O’Brien, who was brought on for Conor O’Brien early on, was put over after some wonderful quick passing from the Leinster players. Ciaran Frawley slotted over the conversion from the right-hand side of the pitch to make it 7-0. 

Ospreys fly-half Luke Price missed another penalty a few minutes later, but it was third time lucky for the hosts as he struck over a penalty heading into the final minute of the half. 

However, it got better for the home side seconds later as Leinster attempted an attack near the halfway-line only to misplace the pass allowing winger Luke Morgan to pick up the ball and race in for a try. Price added the extras to leave the Ospreys 10-7 in front come the half-time whistle as they looked to cause a major upset. 

Leinster came flying out of the blocks in the second period and camped in the Osprey’s 22 for the opening 10 minutes of the half, winning penalty after penalty, taking the scrum option nearly every time. 

Their hard work was rewarded around the 50 minute mark as Josh Murphy eventually barrelled over the line from close-range. Frawley knocked over the conversion from beside the posts to put them back in front. 

The Ospreys came back strong following that score and after some good play in the Leinster half they got to within a point of the away side as Price kicked a simple penalty from in front of the posts to make it 14-13 with just under 20 minutes to go. 

Ospreys couldn’t cope with the Leinster pressure that was to come and conceded several penalties, but Leinster had to wait until the final five minutes to make it count. 

With five minutes left the referee lost his patience with the hosts and sent replacement hooker Sam Perry to the sin-bin. 

From the resulting scrum the boys in blue got over for their third try of the game with Cian Kelleher darting over down the right-wing. Harry Byrne was perfect from the tee to extend their lead. 

Next up for the Ospreys is a trip to Italy where they will face Zebre next Friday, while Leinster will hope to continue their winning run across all competitions when they host the Glasgow Warriors at the same time.  

Player Ratings

Starting XV: 

Hugo Keenan (7), Cian Kelleher (7), Jimmy O’Brien (7), Conor O’Brien (N/A), James Lowe (8), Ciaran Frawley (8), Jamison Gibson-Park (8); Peter Dooley (9), James Tracy (6), Michael Bent (8), Ross Molony (7), Scott Fardy (7), Josh Murphy (8), Scott Penny (7), Rhys Ruddock (7)

Replacements (7)

Pro14

Ospreys to help set up ‘field hospital’

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Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)

The Ospreys training base at Llandarcy Academy of Sport is to be transformed into a field hospital in a bid to deal with the coronavirus pandemic.

Work has already started at Llandarcy (which is part of NPTC Group of Colleges) and will be completed in the next three to four weeks.

The beds would be used for COVID-19 patients and other patients who need medical care, but they will be nursed in separate areas.

“The Ospreys have always been rooted in the community and region and we were happy to help in any way to ease the pressure on the NHS and to assist in dealing with coronavirus,” said Andrew Millward, Ospreys managing director.

“Allowing our training base at Llandarcy to be used in this way is the least we could do as we all come to terms with dealing with this virus at this time.”

There are no plans to provide any intensive care beds in Llandarcy as most seriously ill patients will be treated and cared for in the main hospitals in the region.

The College which runs the Llandarcy Academy of Sport has offered its premises for use as a field hospital with 340 hospital beds available for use.

The public, health and private sector, along with further education, are working closely together in an unprecedented response aimed at safeguarding the health and wellbeing of people living in Swansea and Neath Port Talbot.

Llandarcy Academy of Sport is normally used by thousands of students as well as keep fit enthusiasts. The Ospreys also use the state-of-the-art facilities as their training ground.

Mark Dacey, CEO and Principal of NPTC Group of Colleges said the College would do everything it could to help in the current situation.

“These are difficult times for everyone,” said Dacey.

“We all need to pull together and do whatever we can to help tackle the ongoing COVID-19 emergency that we are all caught up in. The College will do whatever it can to help support our communities and its people during this very difficult time.”

Wyn Evans, Managing Director of the facility thanked everyone involved for coming together and backing the move to provide a field hospital on the site.

“Our users, which include the Ospreys, Swansea Ladies Football, members and lots more are fully supportive. It’s a challenging time for everyone, but we all realise measures have to be taken in order for this situation to be over as quickly as possible,” said Evans.

Tracy Myhill, Chief Executive of Swansea Bay University Health Board, paid tribute to the Ospreys for the willingness to allow Llandarcy to be used at this time and said she was “grateful and proud’” of how communities have come together.

Stadiums, leisure centres and a holiday park are being converted into field hospitals across Wales to help with the response to the outbreak of coronavirus.

The Welsh Rugby Union have already confirmed both Principality Stadium and the National Centre of Excellence in the Vale of Glamorgan will be used as emergency venues to help with treating coronavirus.

Parc y Scarlets in Llanelli – the home of the Scarlets – is also acting in the same way.

Courtesy of Welsh Rugby

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6 Nations

Rodney Parade to help in fight against coronavirus

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(Photo by Harry Trump/Getty Images)

Rodney Parade has become the latest sporting venue to open its doors to help stop the spread of coronavirus.

The Newport stadium has been provided free of charge as a base for front-line NHS staff to check if they have the virus and are able to continue working. At this stage only NHS staff are eligible to be tested at Rodney Parade to see if they have COVID-19. Dragons managing director Mark Jones said: “The health service and care workers are doing an incredible job in such difficult circumstances so we are happy to offer our help and support in any way we can.

“Playing our part in the local community is at the heart of what we’re about at the Dragons and in times of crisis people stick together. We would urge everyone to follow the latest NHS advice on protecting themselves from the virus, particularly to stay at home and avoid unnecessary travel.”

A statement from Aneurin Bevan Health Board read: “The health and wellbeing of our staff is essential for delivering services for the people of Gwent. It is fundamental during this time when the most vulnerable people need us most.

“We have set up a drive-through facility to test staff for the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and help us get our teams back in to work on the front line. The testing site is located at Rodney Parade in Newport and we ask that everyone practises the stay-at-home guidance and does not visit the site.

“Everyone at Aneurin Bevan University Health Board would like to thank the team at Rodney Parade for their community-focused approach and accommodating us during these difficult times.”

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Pro14

Ulster Star Commits Future to Province

Ulster have announced that one of their key men has signed a contract extension with the northern province

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(Photo by Warren Little/Getty Images)

Ulster have announced that Ireland prop Jack McGrath has committed his future to the club after signing a contract extension.

The 30-year-old has put pen to paper on a two-year deal that will see him remain with the province until 2022. 

Having joined Ulster from Leinster before this season McGrath is delighted to have his future sorted. 

“On arriving at Ulster, I was welcomed with open arms and I have very much settled here since joining at the start of this season. It’s a fantastic set-up in terms of the players, coaches and support staff that I get to work alongside every day – and I look forward to what the future holds for the province over the course of the next two years,” he said. 

The 56-cap Ireland international and a British and Irish Lion McGrath has a huge amount of experience behind him and head coach Dan McFarland thinks he has a big role to play in the future of the province. 

“Jack’s reliably strong performances and vast international experience make him a great asset to Ulster – so I’m delighted that he is chosen to continue his career here with us. By renewing the contracts of players such as Jack, we are continuing to strengthen our squad now, and also into the future, given the important leadership he provides for our young talent starting out in their careers. I’m confident that Jack will play an important role in Ulster’s successes in the years ahead,” he said. 

It is a huge boost for Ulster to have his services to rely upon over the coming seasons as they look to continue to build on their brilliant season to date.

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