Supersub Sam Davies inspires stunning Ospreys fightback

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.

OSPREYS:

D. Evans, Dirkson, Spratt, J. Matavesi, Walker, Biggar, Leonard, James, Baldwin, Jarvis, Ashley, Jones, Underhill, Tipuric, King.

Replacements:

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.

CLERMONT AUVERGNE:

Spedding, Strettle, Davies, Fofana, Nakaitaci, Lopez, Parra, Chaume, Kayser, Kotze, Jacquet, Vahaamahina, Chouly, Kolelishvili, Lee.

Replacements:

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).

Referee:

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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