Clermont beat Ospreys in European Rugby thriller

David Strettle on the burst for Clermont Auvergne

ASM Clermont Auvergne earned their first victory of the European season when they beat the Ospreys 34-29 at Stade Marcel-Michelin in the European Rugby Champions Cup.

The match is Clermont’s first of the European Rugby Champions Cup season as last week’s match was postponed while the Ospreys beat Exeter in their opener last week.

Even though the Ospreys lost the match they came away with a losing bonus point and scored four tries so they earned two points from the match and they now top Pool 2 on six points ahead of Exeter on five points.

The Ospreys final two tries and therefore the two bonus points came in the final minutes of the match.

Two dazzling tries from man-of-the match England winger David Strettle inspired last year’s beaten finalists.

Aurelie Rougerie and Wesley Fofana joined Strettle on the scoresheet for Clermont while the Ospreys also ran in four tries — all in the second half — through Justin Tipuric, Eli Walker, Sam Parry and Tom Habberfield.

The last-gasp tries from Parry and Habberfield, whose score was a length-of-the-field burst, ensured two bonus points for the Welshmen who were 20-3 down at the interval.

“We gave away four tries and we showed a lack of control. But with the bonus point we are still in charge of our own destiny,” said Clermont coach Franck Azema.

Final Score ASM Clermont Auvergne 34 (20) Ospreys 29 (3)

Scorers

ASM Clermont Auvergne
Tries – Strettle (2), Rougerie, Fofana
Pen – Lopez (2)
Con – Lopez (2), Parra (2)
Drop –

Ospreys
Tries – Tipuric, Walker, Parry, Habberfield
Pen –
Con – Biggar (3)
Drop –

Match Officials
Referee: George Clancy (Ireland),
Assistant ref: David Wilkinson (Ireland),
Assistant ref: Olly Hodges (Ireland),
TMO: Marshall Kilgore (Ireland),
Citing Commissioner: Tony Lanaway (England)

Teams

ASM Clermont Auvergne: Nick Abendanon; David Strettle, Aurélien Rougerie, Wesley Fofana, Noa Nakaitaci; Camille Lopez, Morgan Parra; Thomas Domingo, Benjamin Kayser, Davit Zirakashvili, Jamie Cudmore, Sébastien Vahaamahina, Damien Chouly (c), Alexandre Lapandry, Fritz Lee

Replacements: Marthinius Van Der Westhuizen, Raphael Chaume, Daniel Kotze, Flip Van Der Merwe, Vito Kolelishvili, Ludovic Radoslavjevic , Brock James, Albert Vulivuli

Ospreys: Daniel Evans; Thomas Grabham, Jonathan Spratt, Josh Matavesi, Eli Walker; Dan Biggar, Brendon Leonard; Paul James, Scott Baldwin, Dmitri Arhip, Lloyd Ashley, Alun-Wyn Jones (c), Dan Lydiate, Justin Tipuric, James King

Replacements: Sam Parry, Ryan Bevington, Aaron Jarvis, Rory Thornton, Dan Baker, Thomas Habberfield, Sam Davies , Hanno Dirksen

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