Bowe try clinches victory for Ospreys

GAVIN HENSON was denied a happy return to the Liberty Stadium as the Ospreys continued their home dominance over city rivals Cardiff Blues with a 17-12 victory in a scrappy RaboDirect PRO12 encounter.

Wales and British Lions back Henson was making his first appearance in Swansea since January 2009, but apart from a few bright moments, was unable to prevent his new side from slipping to defeat against his former team-mates.

A second-half try from Ireland wing Tommy Bowe was the crucial moment in an error-strewn match and keeps the Ospreys in second spot in the table and in firm contention for a fourth Celtic title.

It was nip and tuck for most of the game, but the home scrum took control in the closing exchanges and a pair of penalties from replacement fly-half Dan Biggar gave the Ospreys a welcome start to 2012.

For the Blues, their losing bonus point saw them leapfrog the Scarlets into fifth.

Moray Low took full advantage of Matt Scott’s late yellow card to force the only try of a scrappy encounter with Edinburgh as Glasgow continued their challenge in the upper reaches of the RaboDirect PRO12 with a 17-12 win

The teams were locked on nine points each until Scott threw Robert Harley to the ground in the 68th minute and Low soon emerged with the ball after a lineout to cross over the line.

The victory also ensured Glasgow retained the 1872 Cup with an aggregate victory over their rivals during the festive period. The teams had drawn 23-23 at Murrayfield on St Stephen’s Day, sharing three tries apiece, but the record sell-out crowd of 8,852 at Firhill were not treated to a similar free-flowing contest.

There were too many errors on both sides and the game appeared to be heading towards a kicking stalemate until Scott went to the sin bin.

However, the majority of the crowd went home happy as Glasgow did just enough to seal their sixth consecutive home win.

A kicking duel between Glasgow’s Duncan Weir and Edinburgh’s Phil Godman had things level at 9-9 just before the hour, until Low crossed for the vital try. Scott Wight, on for Weir, missed the conversion but he soon kicked a penalty and Edinburgh, with Mike Blair going off injured, looked like they had no way back.

Lee Jones appeared to have reduced the deficit though as he tookGodman’s crossfield kick and crossed at the corner flag in the 75th minute.

However, Shaw made a crucial tackle and the TMO ruled the Edinburgh winger had been forced over the touchline beforehand.

Godman did secure a bonus point for the visitors with a drop goal in the last seconds.

Benetton Treviso ran out comfortable 37-14 winners over struggling Aironi Rugby in an all-Italian encounter at the Stadio di Monigo yesterday to gain revenge for last week’s shock 27-13 defeat to the same opponents. Aironi twice led through early Luciano Orquera penalties but Treviso then scored 34 of the next 37 points to put the match beyond their opponents before the visitors claimed a late consolation try through centre Gabriel Pizarro.

During that scoring blitz Treviso ran in three tries through Tobias Botes and Italy international forwards Alessandro Zanni and Franco Sbaraglini, and were also awarded a penalty try. Australia fly-half Kris Burton finished with a match total of 17 points with the boot.

The bonus-point victory was Treviso’s sixth in 12 RaboDirect PRO12 games this season and leaves them seventh in the table, while Aironi remain rooted to the foot of the standings with just 10 points.

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