United Rugby Championship: Ospreys 19-5 Sharks - Welsh hosts celebrate win in London

Jack Walsh goes dives over to score for Ospreys
Jack Walsh moved to fly-half from full-back after Owen Williams departed injured in the first half

United Rugby Championship: Ospreys v Sharks

Ospreys (19)

Tries: Walsh, Nagy, K Williams Cons: Walsh 2

Sharks (5)

Try: Buthelezi

Ospreys made the most of moving their United Rugby Championship (URC) home game from Swansea to south-west London by defeating Sharks at the Stoop.

In the first URC match staged in London at Harlequins' home ground, Jack Walsh scored nine points with further tries from Max Nagy and Keiran Williams.

Sharks had opened the score with a Phepsi Buthelezi try.

All the points were scored in the first half as Ospreys defended resolutely to hold off the error-strewn Sharks.

It is a second straight league victory for Toby Booth's young side after defeating Zebre 34-31 last weekend, while Sharks have now started the season with three defeats, after previous losses against Leinster and Munster.

With Jac Morgan and Justin Tipuric absent because of their involvement in Wales' uncapped match against the Barbarians on Saturday, number eight Morgan Morris was an inspiration as he captained the 'home' side to victory, while flanker Harri Deaves was also outstanding.

Moving match to London

This is one of three matches Ospreys will have to move this season because their landlords Swansea City's fixtures take precedence at the Stadium. Ospreys are in line to face Cardiff at Bridgend's Brewery Field on 1 January.

On this occasion, the region decided to branch out and try to attract a new audience in London, with many Welsh and South African ex-pats living there.

Only 3,017 attended Ospreys' opening home victory against Zebre in Swansea last weekend. So the London game was an ambitious idea that was criticised by some and welcomed by others.

Three of the Stoop stands were open, but the main stand was closed to spectators with the attendance announced as 7,183, just under half of the 14,800 capacity.

Wales hosting Barbarians in Cardiff on Saturday afternoon had robbed the Welsh region of their top players.

Ospreys captain Tipuric is due to play for the Barbarians, with Morgan, Dewi Lake, Adam Beard and George North already in the Wales squad, while Sharks had none of their World Cup-winning Springboks.

The hosts were also missing Gareth Thomas, Alex Cuthbert, Sam Parry, Huw Sutton, Will Griffiths, Dom Morris, Keelan Giles and Mat Protheroe.

Sharks start fast

Sharks struck first with a well-worked move that allowed flanker Buthelezi to score. Ospreys responded with a series of powerful drive as Sharks lost their discipline with hooker Ethan Lewis appearing to have been driven over.

The try was initially awarded and followed by a failed conversion before belatedly being checked and ruled out after Lewis lost the ball.

Ospreys did not have to wait too long as they built patiently before creating the space for full-back Walsh to glide over.

Owen Williams missed the conversion and was forced off with a hamstring injury, with Walsh moving to fly-half and Nagy slotting in at full-back.

Nagy made an early impression after charging down a chip from Rohan Janse van Rensburg, collecting possession and sprinting away for an opportunist score. Walsh converted.

While in possession, Janse van Rensburg was shown a yellow card for a high forearm on Deaves.

Ospreys capitalised on a mistake from wing Aphiwe Dyantyi with centre Williams touching down. Walsh converted to give Ospreys a 19-5 half-time lead.

Ospreys lock Rhys Davies avoided a yellow card after a head clash with Sharks fly-half Curwin Bosch, who was forced off the field.

Coach Toby Booth changed the hooker, but Lewis' replacement Lewis Lloyd struggled with his first few line-out throws.

Ospreys defended resolutely, but Walsh failed with a late penalty to extend the lead while Nagy spurned a bonus-point try attempt.

It mattered little with victory the main aim for this young Ospreys side on what can be considered a successful evening for the region on and off the field.

Ospreys captain Morgan Morris told BBC Sport Wales: "They're a big physical team and we were up against it during the game.

"They came at us with everything, especially after half-time. Credit to the boys in the front five, they were outstanding and the work we did in the scrums and mauls was absolutely fantastic.

"Mark Jones [defence coach] has had an amazing effect on us. Our defence has been good, especially today. We were in our 22 a lot but we didn't give up and won a couple of penalties."

Ospreys: Jack Walsh; Luke Morgan, Keiran Williams, Owen Watkin, Toby Fricker; Owen Williams, Reuben Morgan-Williams, Garyn Phillips, Ethan Lewis, Tom Botha, Rhys Davies, James Fender, James Ratti, Harri Deaves, Morgan Morris (capt).

Replacements: Lewis Lloyd, Rhys Henry, Ben Warren, Lewis Jones, Morgan Morse, Luke Davies, Max Nagy, Luke Scully.

Sharks: Aphelele Fassi; Werner Kok, Francois Venter (capt), Rohan Janse van Rensburg, Aphiwe Dyantyi; Curwin Bosch, Cameron Wright; Ntuthuko Mchunu, Dylan Richardson, Coenie Oosthuizen, Corne Rahl, Emile van Heerden, James Venter, Phepsi Buthelezi, Sikhumbuzo Notshe.

Replacements: Kerron van Vuuren, Dian Bleuler, Hanro Jacobs, Hyron Andrews, George Cronje, Zee Mkhabela, Boeta Chamberlain, Murray Koster.

Referee: Mike Adamson (SRU)

Assistant referees: Dewi Phillips & Mark Butcher (WRU)

TMO: Matteo Liperini (FIR)