Ospreys top of Pool 2 after Champions Cup win over Clermont
Last Updated: 16/01/16 11:45am
Ospreys have kept their Champions Cup hopes alive with a 21-13 win over Clermont Auvergne at the Liberty Stadium.
Clermont led 13-6 at half-time after dominating the opening exchanges, but the second half brought with it heavy rain and an Ospreys comeback as the Welsh side scored 15 unanswered points through the boot of Sam Davies.
Ospreys were helped by the ill discipline of their visitors as Viktor Kolelishvili and replacement hooker John Ulugia were shown yellow cards but it was the measured boot of Sam Davies, who took over from Dan Biggar when the No 10 left the field with an injury, that took Ospreys home.
The win puts Ospreys at the top of Pool 2, but they need to beat Exeter at Sandy Park if they want to guarantee a place in the quarter-finals. Clermont on the other hand could still qualify, but will rue a night of missed chances.
The French side opened the scoring when Camille Lopez dummied and broke through the midfield before passing to Wesley Fofana in support who crashed over for an early 7-0 lead.
Biggar brought Ospreys to within a point with two kicks at goal, one of which came from a bizarre incident involving Kolelishvili. The flanker took exception to Wayne Barnes obscuring his view in defence and pushed the referee. Kolelishvili was warned and penalised, but it was not the last time Barnes had to speak to the Clermont No 7.
Parra made it 10-6 at the end of the first quarter before Kolelishvili was spotted in a scuffle with Ospreys skipper Alun Wyn Jones. The TMO was called and Kolelishvili was shown a yellow card for the incident, despite Jones' sporting plea to the referee to show leniency.
Ospreys were unable to use the extra man advantage as Parra added a second penalty to make it 13-6, which is how the scores remained until the break.
Ospreys were ineffective in the early stages of the second half, but a 58th-minute penalty from Davies ignited a famous comeback from the home side.
The replacement fly-half made it a one-point game with a drop goal four minutes later, and gave his side the lead from the kicking tee in the 67th minute when Ospreys were hot on attack and Ulugia was deemed to be deliberately affecting play from an offside position.
Ulugia was shown a yellow for the indiscretion, and Ospreys showed patience as they applied pressure on Clermont with another three points as the game went into the final ten minutes.
Clermont attempted to mount a fightback of their own when they were back to 15 men but Ospreys repelled each attack, sending the visitors backwards with seemingly every possession. Ospreys eventually won a penalty at the breakdown and Davies stepped up to seal the win with another shot at goal.
The kick sailed over, handing Ospreys top spot in the pool, and robbing Clermont of a crucial bonus point.