Champions Cup - Ospreys 21 Clermont Auvergne 13: Substitute Sam Davies delivered a commanding performance as the Ospreys fought back superbly to floor French heavyweights Clermont Auvergne in stunning fashion at the Liberty Stadium.
Clermont led by seven points at half-time, and then the Ospreys lost their Wales fly-half star Dan Biggar through injury, but his replacement Davies took charge, kicking four penalties and a drop-goal following two earlier Biggar penalties.
Ospreys moved top of Pool Two as a result of their 21-13 victory, with Clermont not collecting the consolation of a losing bonus point after centre Wesley Fofana’s early try, plus eight points from scrum-half Morgan Parra’s boot.
Clermont bagged the opening try after just five minutes, as they went through a number of technically pinpoint phases before fly-half Camille Lopez weaved his way into deep inside the Ospreys 22 and Fofana gathered his scoring pass. Parra added the conversion, and although Biggar got the Ospreys moving through a ninth-minute penalty, Clermont showed no sign of slowing up, with full-back Scott Spedding proving a particular attacking threat from deep positions.
A second Biggar penalty cut the deficit to a point, but that was immediately cancelled out by a Parra strike after Ospreys wing Eli Walker needlessly infringed through an aerial challenge on his opposite number, England international David Strettle.
The Ospreys enjoyed a sustained spell of pressure after falling 10-6 behind, and their cause was helped when Clermont’s Georgia international flanker Viktor Kolelishvili was sin-binned by referee Wayne Barnes after he appeared to thrust his arm in Ospreys skipper Alun-Wyn Jones’ face.
Another Parra penalty put the visitors seven points clear. He
missed a long-range penalty chance early in the second period as the Ospreys then lost Biggar as his replacement Davies led the Ospreys to victory as they scored 15 unanswered second-half points.
Scorers for Ospreys:
Pens: Biggar 2, Davies 4. Drop Goals: Davies.
D. Evans, Dirkson, Spratt, J. Matavesi, Walker, Biggar, Leonard, James, Baldwin, Jarvis, Ashley, Jones, Underhill, Tipuric, King.
Davies for Biggar (47), Smith for James (62), Parry for Baldwin (51), Fia for Jarvis (59), Baker for King (53).
Scorers for Clermont Auvergne:
Tries: Fofana. Cons: Parra. Pens: Parra 2.
Spedding, Strettle, Davies, Fofana, Nakaitaci, Lopez, Parra, Chaume, Kayser, Kotze, Jacquet, Vahaamahina, Chouly, Kolelishvili, Lee.
Vulivuli for Strettle (45), James for Lopez (67), Radosavljevic for Parra (75), Debaty for Chaume (53), Ulugia for Kayser (53), Jedrasiak for Jacquet (62), Gerondeau for Kolelishvili (50).
Wayne Barnes (RFU).
Challenge Cup, Pool 5:
Edinburgh 23 Agen 0.
Challenge Cup, Pool 2:
Newport Gwent D’gons 31 Castres 18; Pau 3 Sale 27 British & Irish Cup, Pool 2: Ulster A 17 Bedford 22.
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