Ospreys 24 Australia XV 16: Ospreys' swoop shocks Wallabies

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The Independent Online

The Ospreys gave a remark-able demonstration of the improving strength in depth of Welsh rugby with a shock victory over Australia last night. Four minutes from time Richard Mustoe galloped over after intercepting Mark Gerard's pass 40 metres out to crown an historical night for the Welsh region.

Like the second-string Wallabies, the Ospreys were without 12 front-line players ahead of Saturday's Test at the Millennium Stadium but they fought back from 10-3 down to inflict an early blow for Wales on the opening night of Australia's tour.

The Ospreys coach, Lyn Jones, said: "This is a massive result for rugby in south Wales. We have a very short history as a region but we've already been through ups and down and taken a lot of criticism so it was great to nail this one down in front of 20,000 supporters. Some of these players will never play international rugby but they'll remember this night. I hope it has a positive effect on Wales on Saturday."

The first try went to Australia after 20 minutes when Cameron Shepherd sent Adam Ashley-Cooper sailing through. But veteran Wales hooker Barry Williams crashed over to equalise in between yellow cards for James Horwill and Guy Shepherdson before Shaun Connor added the conversion, three penalties and a late drop goal.

The Australia coach, John Connolly, said: "We wanted this game before the Test match to experiment. You never like losing but this will not have any effect on Saturday's match."

Ospreys: Tries B Williams, Mustoe; Conversion Connor; Penalties Connor 3; Drop Goal Connor. Australia XV: Try Ashley-Cooper; Conversion Shepherd; Penalties Shepherd 3.

Ospreys: Terblanche; Mustoe, Parker, Selley (A Bishop, 75), Vaughton (Walker, 65); Connor, Spice (Roberts, 79); James (capt), B Williams (Bennett, 58), Millward (Griffiths, 58), Powell, Bateman, Beach (Lloyd, 58), Pugh, Tiatia.

Australia XV: Shepherd; Staniforth, Ashley-Cooper, Fairbanks, Turinui; Gerrard, Sheehan; Henderson, Polota-Nau (More, h-t), Shepherdson, Campbell, Horwill, McMeniman (Chisholm, 10), Smith (capt), Lyons (Hoiles, 73).

Referee: A Small (RFU).

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