Wales flanker returns after five months out as Ospreys suffer heavy defeat in Ireland

Jac Morgan charges forward into contact -Credit:Huw Evans Agency
Jac Morgan charges forward into contact -Credit:Huw Evans Agency

Wales flanker Jac Morgan returned from a five-month absence but the Ospreys' hopes of reaching the United Rugby Championship play-offs suffered a major setback as they fell to a 61-14 defeat to Leinster in Dublin.

The Ospreys are now eight points off the play-off places and must win their remaining two games against the Dragons and Cardiff, respectively, while also hoping other results go their way. Toby Booth's side were extremely competitive in a fiercely contested first-half and trailed 21-14 at the break before capitulating in the final 40 minutes.

On a positive note Warren Gatland will have been pleased to see his Rugby World Cup co-captain Morgan return to the field of play after a five-month absence due to injury. Leinster opened the scoring after a mere three minutes when Jimmy O'Brien raced up the left touchline to score with Ross Byrne adding the extras.

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The hosts claimed a second try soon when Ross Molony powered over from short-range with Byrne converting. But the Ospreys hit back when Owen Watkin hit a superb angle off a deft pass from Morgan Morris before side stepping the final defender to score with Dan Edwards adding the extras.

Toby Booth's side had all the momentum and a well-timed cross-kick from Edwards got taken by Luke Morgan over the try line but he was smashed over the dead ball line by Ciaran Frawley. But the the TMO intervened and concluded Morgan had been taken out in the air and as a result a penalty try was awarded while Frawley got sent to the sin bin.

The Ospreys were on fire and a excellent break by Max Nagy sent Edwards clear who proceeded to kick the ball upfield which put Leinster under severe pressure on their own try line. But Leinster regained the lead after the Ospreys failed to deal with a grubber kick which allowed Jordan Lamour to pounce for the try.

Byrne converted meaning the hosts held a 21-14 lead at the interval. If the first-half was a contest the second was a total mismatch and Leinster spent no time in taking control of the game as Jason Jenkins brushed aside Keelan Giles to score their bonus point try.

Leinster's fifth try was a cracker as Lamour beat two Ospreys defenders with his footwork to score. The Ospreys fought hard to get back into the game but a missed penalty kick to touch by Edwards which went over the dead ball line handed the momentum back to the hosts.

By now the game was over as a contest with a further four tries from Tommy O'Brien (twice), Charlie Ngatai and Lamour rubbing further salt into the Ospreys' wounds.