Morgan is class above as Zebre hit for six
LUKE Morgan lit up the Liberty Stadium with a scintillating hat-trick as the Ospreys thrashed Zebre on Friday night.
Morgan’s triple, plus a penalty try and scores from Scott Otten and Olly Cracknell, ensured Allen Clarke’s side secured a bonus point victory over the struggling Italians.
Sam Davies and James Hook also kicked 11 points between them.
Clarke waxed lyrical about the performance of the recently capped Wales wing. “He got plenty of touches on the ball and got his rewards,” purred former Ireland hooker Clarke.
“His first try was a fantastic finish. Not many wingers in Europe would have scored a try like that.
“He’s come back from Wales full of energy, excitement and is delighted to have his first cap. I think we saw that positivity in his performance.”
After a scrappy opening quarter Ospreys’ scrum forced Zebre backwards at a rate of knots to earn a penalty try.
Morgan then showed his predatory instincts with a terrific finish at the far left-hand corner for their second try after a terrific pass from Scott Williams.
Davies extended the Ospreys’ lead with a penalty from in front but things went from bad to worse for the Italians as Massimo Ceciliani was sent to the sin bin for playing Aled Davies without the ball at the breakdown.
Ospreys had three tries disallowed in quick succession as they looked to put the game to bed. Alun Wyn Jones was held up over the line before Morgan had a touchdown ruled out with his foot brushing the touchline.
The TMO saved Zebre for a third time, judging Jones’ pass forward to deny Aled Davies a score.
Morgan finally breached the resilient defence with another fine finish.
The Wales wing rounded off a terrific display with a hat-trick as he gathered an ambitious cross kick from Davies to run in unopposed from the half-way line.
Clarke’s side turned the screw on their visitors with replacement hooker Otten scoring off the back of a powerful driving lineout.
Tommaso Boni was sent to the bin in injury time for tackling a player without the ball allowing the Ospreys to rub salt into the wounds with a sixth try from Cracknell.