Friday, April 11, 2014

Rabo Direct Pro 12: Jeff Hassler Impresses as Ospreys topple Leinster

Photo Wales Online
Canadian international Jeff Hassler crossed for a well-worked try this evening as Welsh region the Ospreys defeated Irish province Leinster 25-19 in a Rabo Direct Pro 12 fixture in Swansea. The six time capped twenty-two year old continued his fine form in his debut season of professional rugby as he scored the first try of the match and was involved in earlier phase play in the lead-up to the try.

Hassler was signed by the Welsh region ahead of the current season. He had impressed representing Canada  at the junior level and had also played Rugby Sevens for Canada and been capped before arriving in Wales. Since arriving at the Swansea based Welsh region side Hassler has established himself as a regular in the starting line-up. Prior to this evenings win over Leinster Hassler had played sixteen matches for the Ospreys.

Also involved in the match was Hanno Dirksen. The former USA junior player who also played at the senior level for the USA Eagles in a non-international against Munster had been a star for the Ospreys in previous seasons. But with him playing well in Wales his eligibility for the USA has been lost with him chasing a place in the Welsh squad for Rugby World Cup 2015. 

Standing in his way is Jeff Hassler. The Canadian has proven to be such a valuable plasyer for the Welsh region that he has held down the starting right wing position which has seen Dirksen´s come back from a serious injury last season fail to wield the same resutls as previously. Dirksen will be eligible for the upcoming Welsh tour of South Africa should Warren Gatland be interested.

The six point victory sees the Ospreys draw even on 56 competition points with the Glasgow Warriors. The teams are locked for fourth position. Should Glasgow win on Saturday it will reclaim its advantage. It is a tall order, however, as Glasgow faces Munster away in Limerick. 

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