Pro14: Ospreys 26-12 Southern Kings
|Pro14: Ospreys v Southern Kings|
|Ospreys: (7) 26|
|Tries: Habberfield, Penalty try 2, Hassler Cons: Davies 2|
|Southern Kings: (12) 12|
|Tries: Makase, Willemse Cons: Du Toit|
Ospreys avoided a shock defeat as they beat South Africa's Southern Kings at the Liberty Stadium 26-12.
Ospreys opened the scoring, Tom Habberfield going over, but the visitors hit back through Michael Makase and captain Michael Willemse.
Two penalty tries following poor Kings discipline at the scrum handed the Ospreys control before Jeff Hassler gave the Welsh region the bonus point.
The Kings still remain winless whilst the Ospreys close the gap on Connacht.
The visitors fell foul of poor discipline throughout the game, referee David Wilkinson making the point to Kings' captain Willemse on several occasions.
However the visitors took their chances in the first half, with the return of Wales squad members Justin Tipuric, Owen Watkin and Adam Beard not having the desired impact.
The Kings led until past the hour mark, but yellow cards for Johan Smith and Eital Bredenkamp gave the Ospreys the opportunity they needed to capitalise.
The Welsh side dominated the final 15 minutes and Hassler's last-minute try was enough to secure the try bonus point which for long periods looked unlikely.
The Ospreys welcome the Cheetahs to the Liberty Stadium next while the Kings travel to Leinster.
Ospreys interim coach Allen Clarke:
"Obviously I'm relieved. It's important that we got that tonight. We didn't capitalise on the territory and possession we had in the first half and it looked as if it was going to be one of those nights.
"All credit to the Kings for the energy and physicality they showed and effort, but in particular credit to our boys because they nailed it at the end showing us where we are and the potential we have as a group."
Ospreys: Dan Evans, Jeff Hassler, Kieron Fonotia, Owen Watkin, Dewi Cross, Sam Davies, Tom Habberfield (capt.); Rhodri Jones, Sam Parry, Ma'afu Fia, Adam Beard, James King, Olly Cracknell, Will Jones, Justin Tipuric
Replacements: Scott Otten, Nicky Smith, Dmitri Arhip, Alex Jeffries, Guy Mercer, Reuben Morgan-Williams, Luke Price, Hanno Dirksen.
Southern Kings: MBanda; Y Penxe, B Klaasen, L Vulindlu, M Makase; M du Toit, R Gouws; S Ferreira, M Willemse (capt), P Scholtz, S Greeff, B de Wee, A Ntsila, M Burger, R Lerm.
Replacements: S Coetsee, J Smith, L Pupuma, J van Vuuren, E Bredenkamp, G Masimla, B Janse van Rensberg, H Klaasen.
Referee: David Wilkinson (Ire)
Assistants: Stuart Gaffkin, Richard Kerr
TMO: Simon McDowell