Winners and losers as Pivac sells shares in form Wales star and horror incident gives rugby a problem

Winners and losers as Pivac sells shares in form Wales star and horror incident gives rugby a problem

Crisis? What crisis? Some in the regions might be tempted to ask.

The Ospreys, after all, defeated the United Rugby Championship leaders, Cardiff downed Leinster for seemingly the first time since the Franco-Prussian war and the Dragons avoided defeat.

Regional rugby bites back?

Er, let’s see more evidence.

The game is still starved of cash and not even spirited displays from Ospreys and Cardiff can hide that more help is needed.

But it was a better weekend for the professional game.

We look at the winners and losers.


Ospreys half-backs and back-row boys

The Wales selectors have seemingly sold shares in him, but Rhys Webb continues to deliver Test-quality rugby pretty much every time he takes the field.

That says a lot about him.

He’s another one who has taken to leadership as if to the manner born.

Against United Rugby Championship leaders Edinburgh on Saturday, he was the commander in the Ospreys’ team as they recorded a hard-earned 23-19 victory. So much that was good about their display went through him. He led from the front, he orchestrated tactics, he troubled the opposition defence. Despite being overlooked by Wales, Webb still believes in himself. Everything is armour-plated on that front.

Alongside him was Stephen Myler, a man you’d suspect would stay calm if he were on the bus with the crazed Dennis Hopper character in the film Speed.

Nothing appears to faze the 37-year-old.

Penalties and conversions are kicked with glacial composure and his decisions are good in general play.

With Gareth Anscome and Michael Collins on the field as well as Webb and Myler, the Ospreys had leaders to see the job through.

A word, too, on back-row boys Ethan Roots and Morgan Morris.

Roots appeared to have sneaked a twin brother onto the pitch to help him out as he came up with 24 tackles. Whenever Edinburgh threatened, the New Zealander seemed to produce a timely defensive intervention.

And Morris gave the Ospreys the ball-carrying impetus they had previously lacked at forward when he came off the bench in the second half. He had missed a few tackles against Sale in the Heineken Champions Cup, but he returned to form with a bang on Saturday.

Toby Booth

Rewind to the Madejski Stadium in 2src11 and the Ospreys had seen their European hopes for the season effectively ended by defeat to London Irish in the Heineken Cup.

Alun Wyn Jones came up to the post-match press conference and choke

…. to be continued
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