Hook stars as Ospreys win Anglo-Welsh cup

James Hook marked his return to Twickenham with another superb display as the Neath-Swansea Ospreys beat English giants Leicester 23-6 in the final of the Anglo-Welsh Cup on Saturday.


Back in February the outside-half was named man-of-the-match following Wales’s come from behind victory over England which gave them the first leg of a Six Nations Grand Slam.


And the 22-year-old Hook proved an equally key figure for Welsh regional side Ospreys, providing the scoring pass for both of their tries and kicking his team’s other 13 points himself.


Defending champions Leicester had an early 6-0 lead thanks to a penalty and a drop-goal from stand-off Andy Goode but the Tigers never managed another point after those scores as the Ospreys bounced back from last weekend’s European Cup quarter-final defeat against Saracens in style.


Tries either side of half-time from centre Andrew Bishop, in for the injured Gavin Henson, and Test lock Alun-Wyn Jones left Ospreys, fielding 11 of the Wales side that triumphed at Twickenham two months ago, on top.


“You are going to get thunderbolts in a season and we took a kick in the pants last week but we came here today knowing exactly what we had to do,” said Ospreys coach Lyn Jones.


“They are horrible experiences but you have to go through them to appreciate what it is all about. It is part of growing up.


“Coming here today I knew we were going to win and it was a comprehensive performance from one to 15.”

 

Leicester, who last season also won the Premiership title, now need to beat Bath on Tuesday if they are to have a chance of retaining the English crown.

“It is a very unhappy dressing room,” said Leicester captain Martin Corry.


“When you come to occasions like this you want to put on your best show and today we didn’t,” the former England skipper added.


“We were far from it, in everything. How we were in attack, in defence, at the breakdown,” the back-row explained. “Every facet of the game.


“They were the better side on the day Despite going six points behind, the Ospreys always looked more threatening in open play and they were rewarded for their enterprise when Hook found Bishop with a delightful inside pass.


There was still plenty for the Wales Under-21 international to do but Bishop burst through tackles from Goode and George Chuter before crossing the line.


Early in the second-half a break from Wales full-back Lee Byrne opened up the Leicester defence before Hook sent in Alun-Wyn Jones.


Hook’s boot then ensured the Ospreys stayed well clear.


Sapa-AFP -Rugbyweek.com  

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