Ospreys swoop for win over Clermont

Neath-Swansea Ospreys 26 Clermont Auvergne 12

Neath-Swansea Ospreys 26 Clermont Auvergne 12

Neath-Swansea earned a morale-boosting if hollow Heineken Cup victory over Clermont Auvergne thanks to 16 points from the boot of full-back Adrian Cashmore.

With both Pool 3 sides already out of quarter-final contention the match was fairly meaningless, but the win was important for the Ospreys because it ended a four-match losing run.

After Anthony Floch had missed a fourth minute penalty, it was the Ospreyswho had much the more profitable first half.

Their dominance took them into a 6-0 advantage, with two Cashmore penalties.

Error dominated many of the early passages of play, and that was how the Ospreys’ opening try came about.

Outside-half Craig McMullen spilled a ball in his own half; Ospreys number eight Jonathan Thomas hacked on, and wing Richard Mustoe picked up and scored under the posts.

That try was cancelled out only five minutes later when McMullen broke through into the 22, and Floch put Pierre-Emmanuel Garcia in under the sticks.

Ospreys produced the perfect riposte when Cashmore put Steffan Terblanche on a great angled run to the line to give the home side a 20-7 interval lead.

Four minutes into the second half, Cashmore planted his third penalty to give his side a 16-point cushion.

Ospreys suffered a setback when outside-half Shaun Connor was handed a yellow card following a scrap with Clermont wing Breyton Paulse.

Both sides found themselves a man short, after Gonzalo Longo found himself in the cooler for throwing a punch.

The Welsh region failed to concede any points while down to 14 men, but they did after Connor was back on the pitch.

Clermont upped their forward effort, with number eight Elvis Vermeulen squeezing over from a maul.

After that, Clermont threatened a major comeback as their forwards started to show through.

But the Ospreys were not fazed and managed to halt a line-out and drive – and followed that up by keeping the Frenchmen at bay for the rest of the match.

Ospreys made their way back up the field and were rewarded with a fourth penalty for the in-form Cashmore.

It was their second home win against a French side, after beating Stade Francais last year.

They travel to Stade next week hoping to achieve a rare double over the Paris side.

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