Ospreys 31-24 Northampton Saints: Justin Tipuric makes return as Toby Booth’s side secure late victory

The Wales flanker played just under an hour as some late tries secured the Ospreys a pleasing victory

Justin Tipuric played just under an hour on his return from injury as the Ospreys beat Northampton Saints in a thrilling pre-season friendly in Bridgend.

The flanker hadn’t played since injuring his shoulder at the start of the 2021 Lions tour 14 months ago, but he showed little sign of rust with a typically industrious performance. As for the Ospreys, they finished strongly against the Premiership side – with Luke Morgan’s late score in the corner enough to secure victory.

Northampton had led 12-3 at the break through a penalty try and a well-worked effort by Angus Scott-Young.

However, the Ospreys hit back after half-time, with Cai Evans scoring out wide.

Saints hit back with a superb individual try from Tom Collins, only for Garyn Phillips to crash over from a lost lineout to level the scores.

Northampton forged ahead through a powerful finish from former Dragons lock Brandon Nansen, only for Phillips to level the scores once again with his second try.

With Nansen in the bin for a high tackle on Jack Walsh late on, Morgan dived over in the corner to snatch victory. More pleasing for Toby Booth was the performance of his side – in particular that of the returning Tipuric.

Ospreys: Cai Evans; Luke Morgan, Kieran Williams, Joe Hawkins, Keelan Giles; Stephen Myler, Rhys Webb; Nicky Smith, Scott Baldwin, Tom Botha, Rhys Davies, Huw Sutton, Jac Morgan, Justin Tipuric, Morgan Morris.

Replacements: Elvis Taione, Rhys Henry, Garyn Phillips, Ben Warren, Brad Davies, Tristan Davies, Ethan Roots, Harri Deaves, Reuben Morgan-Williams, Jack Walsh, Tom Florence, Max Nagy, Luke Scully, Mathew Aubrey.

Northampton: George Hendy; Ollie Sleightholme, Matt Proctor, Fraser Dingwall, James Ramm; James Grayson, Alex Mitchell (capt), Emmanuel Iyogun, Mike Haywood, Paul Hill, Lukhan Salakaia-Loto, Alex Coles, Angus Scott-Young, Sam Graham, Juarno Augustus.

Replacements: Alex Waller, Sam Matavesi, Robbie Smith, Alfie Petch, Oisín Heffernan, Alex Moon, Brandon Nansen, Aaron Hinkley, Geordie Irvine, Callum Braley, Tom James, Matt Arden, Tom Collins, Joel Matavesi, Tom Litchfield, Courtnall Skosan.

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