Ospreys 32 Cardiff Blues 10: Hook's haul gives Cardiff the blues

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The Independent Online

The Ospreys produced a scintillating second-half performance to continue their unbeaten start to the Magners League campaign with a convincing bonus-point victory over derby rivals the Blues at the Liberty Stadium.



The match had been too close to call at half-time until the Ospreys racked up an incredible 27 unanswered points in 25 second-half minutes with James Hook contributing 22 of those including two tries.

With the two regions in the middle of a tough brief of three games in eight days there were changes on both sides. The Ospreys made seven from the team which won at Connacht and the Blues named nine changes following their 16-16 draw with Leinster.

It took wing wizard Shane Williams just three minutes to stamp his authority on the contest, sprinting in for an unconverted try down the right flank, put in by Wales full-back colleague Lee Byrne.

At the other end the Ospreys showed some well-organised defence to stop three concerted Blues attacks into their 22.

The Blues were eventually rewarded for their territorial dominance with a penalty from Ben Blair on 39 minutes after a ruck offence from Ospreys lock Alun Wyn Jones to make it 5-3 at the interval. That after Blair missed an attempt in his own half in the seventh minute of injury time.

But the match did not come alive until the second half. An impressive run by Fio Tiatia set up good territory from where Hook planted a 48th-minute penalty goal.

But 8-3 became 11-3 three minutes later as Hook found his range again as the Blues strayed offside.

Hook completed 13 unanswered points in five minutes when he was on hand to run in and convert the Ospreys' second try after a brilliant run by Byrne as the home side's lead increased to 18-3.

That became 25-3 when a Hook crosskick was kicked ahead and picked up by Tommy Bowe to go over for try number three converted by Hook. Those 20 points had come in just nine minutes.

And Hook was put across for his second try by Ospreys new scrum-half signing Jamie Nutbrown on 72 minutes to register a bonus point.

In injury time Aled Brew crossed for a converted try to give the scoreline some respectability as far as the Blues were concerned.

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