European Champions Cup: Treviso 23-20 Ospreys

By Owen RawlingsBBC Wales Sport
Josh Matavesi
Fijian centre Josh Matavesi was part of a misfiring Ospreys backline
Treviso (16) 23
Tries: Esposito, Barbini, penalty try Con: Hayward Pens: Hayward (2)
Ospreys (12) 20
Tries: King, Walker, Fussell Con: Davies Pen: Davies

Ospreys ended a disappointing European Champions Cup campaign with a last-minute defeat at Italian side Treviso.

Richard Fussell's try looked to have secured the win for Ospreys, but they conceded a late penalty try under fierce pressure at the scrum.

James King and Eli Walker scored first-half tries for the Welsh region, but the Italians fought back with tries from Marco Barbini and Angelo Esposito.

Ospreys finish third in Pool 5, 15 points behind winners Racing Metro.

Steve Tandy's side only had pride to play for in the Champions Cup after their 20-9 defeat to Northampton Saints, who finished second after a heavy defeat to Racing.

Ospreys made plenty of changes for the trip to Italy, resting Wales half-backs Dan Biggar and Rhys Webb, and lock Alun Wyn Jones.

Lock King scored for the Welsh region after just five minutes, touching down in the corner after a clever break by wing Tom Grabham. Fly-half Sam Davies added the extras.

But Treviso grew into the game, with full-back Jayden Hayward reducing the deficit with a penalty after 21 minutes.

Ospreys lacked direction and the Italians soon took advantage, fly-half Sam Christie working an overlap for wing Esposito to race into the corner. Hayward rattled the post with the conversion.

The Welsh region regained the lead soon after when Walker dived over following a terrific break by Davies, though flankers Sam Lewis and Justin Tipuric were fortunate not to be penalised for obstructing Treviso's tacklers.

Tandy's side threw their advantage away almost immediately. The Italians took control of the forwards battle and struck back with a penalty from Hayward, before flanker Barbini scored after an error from the visitors' scrum-half Martin Roberts.

European Champions Cup - Pool 5
Racing Metro651016869224

Ospreys lit up the start of the second half with the best move of the match. Lewis broke free in his own 22, before feeding Tipuric and centre Josh Matavesi who carried the ball deep into the Italians' half.

Grabham, 23, was hauled down short of the try-line, but Davies stroked over an easy penalty after Treviso offended at the breakdown.

Davies should have fed captain Tyler Ardron for an easy try midway through the half, but the 21-year-old's attempted pass missed its target as Ospreys' backline struggled to find much fluency.

After the fly-half had kicked a difficult penalty wide of the posts, Davies sent full-back Fussell over in the corner for what appeared to be the decisive try with 10 minutes remaining.

But Umberto Casellato's side had the last say.

New Zealander Christie was held up short of Ospreys' line and from the resulting scrum the visitors' pack disintegrated, with referee Mathieu Raynal awarding a penalty try to give Treviso their first win of the campaign.

Ospreys: Richard Fussell; Tom Grabham, Hanno Dirksen, Josh Matavesi, Eli Walker; Sam Davies, Martin Roberts; Marc Thomas, Scott Baldwin, Aaron Jarvis, Rynier Bernardo, James King, Sam Lewis, Justin Tipuric, Tyler Ardron (capt).

Replacements: Sam Parry, Gareth Thomas, Dmitri Arhip, Morgan Allen, Olly Cracknell, Tom Habberfield, Aisea Natoga, Dan Evans.

Treviso: Jayden Hayward; Angelo Esposito, Michele Campagnaro, Luca Morisi, Andrea Pratichetti; Sam Christie, Edoardo Gori; Mat Luamanu, Alessandro Zanni (capt), Marco Barbini, Corniel Van Zyl, Marco Fuser, Salesi Manu, Albert Anae, Matteo Zanusso.

Replacements: Davide Giazzon, Josè Novak, Rupert Harden, Antonio Pavanello, Francesco Minto, Enrico Bacchin, Simone Ragusi, James Ambrosini.

Referee: Mathieu Raynal (France)

Touch judges: Laurent Cardona (France), Thomas Charabas (France)

Fourth official: Gregorio Piran (Italy)

TMO: Vincent Azoulay (France)

Citing commissioner: John Montgomery (Scotland)

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