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Heineken Cup Pool 1: Ospreys hopes fade after defeat
Quotes of the week
- Cockerill wary of Montpellier
- Keatley calls for Cup focus
- Davies revels in Blues win
- Mallinder 'embarrassed'
- Easter: Quins back on track
- McCall delighted with Sarries
- Easterby finds some positives
- Davies lauds May after try
- Lam: Connacht belief the key
- Blues v Warriors: Teams
- Northampton v Leinster: Teams
- Ulster v Treviso: Teams
- Munster v Perpignan: Teams
- Clermont v Scarlets: Teams
- Leicester v Montpellier: Teams
- Zebre v Saracens: Teams
- Toulouse v Connacht: Teams
- Edinburgh v Gloucester: Teams
- Castres edge past Ospreys
- Late bonus for Clermont
- Ulster crush Treviso
- Toulouse stunned by Connacht
- Leicester down Montpellier
- Gloucester beat Edinburgh
- Munster maul poor Perpignan
- Saints hit for six by Leinster
- Blues win Heineken thriller
Gruff Rees conceded the Ospreys' Heineken Cup hopes are over but hailed their fighting spirit after they were edged out 15-9 by Castres.
Dan Biggar fired a hat-trick of penalties at Stade Pierre Antoine but it was not enough as Rory Kockett and Geoffrey Palis booted the French champions to victory.
The Welsh region battled to snatch a victory at the death as Castres saw Palis and Seremaia Bai sent to the sin-bin, but the hosts clung on.
The defeat leaves the Ospreys all but mathematically out of Europe at the group stages for the fourth season in a row, following earlier losses to Leinster and Northampton.
Backs coach Rees said: "Effectively we are out of the competition. But it was a huge effort by all the boys, from Alun-Wyn Jones to young Daniel Suter - they all gave it everything.
"We have had a very difficult week with only one full training day but the boys applied themselves and gave everything they could for the shirt.
"There were opportunities at the end to win but it didn't happen and we have to look forward to the next game."
The victory sees Castres maintain the pressure on Leinster and Northampton in Pool One.
They drew level on eight points with the Dubliners ahead of Saturday's clash at Franklin's Gardens but would have been targeting a crucial bonus point which they failed to secure.
Castres lock Richie Gray admitted the Welsh region frustrated Castres but he was delighted to secure the win to kick-start their European campaign.
He added: "The Ospreys made life difficult for us at the breakdown and defended very well. But we expected that, they are a very competitive side.
"We were down to 13 men at the end but we managed to hold out and I think that shows how hard this team works for each other.
"We did so well to hold out in that period. It was a real team effort.
"The win puts us in a good position in the group. Now we have a very difficult trip to the Ospreys next week but it is one we feel we can do well in."
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|European Rugby Champions Cup|
|Sunday 25th January|
|European Rugby Champions Cup|
|Munster 65 - 10 Sale Sharks|
|Clermont Auvergne 18 - 6 Saracens|
|Bath 20 - 15 Glasgow|
|Montpellier 27 - 26 Toulouse|
|Saturday 24th January|
|Scarlets 3 - 26 Toulon|
|Ulster 26 - 7 Leicester|
|Northampton 8 - 32 Racing Metro 92|
|Benetton Treviso 23 - 20 Ospreys|
|Castres 19 - 47 Harlequins|
|Wasps 20 - 20 Leinster|
|Sunday 18th January|
|Ospreys 9 - 20 Northampton|
|Racing Metro 92 53 - 7 Benetton Treviso|
|Toulouse 18 - 35 Bath|
|Glasgow 21 - 10 Montpellier|
|Saturday 17th January|
|Harlequins 3 - 23 Wasps|
|Sale Sharks 13 - 22 Clermont Auvergne|
|Leinster 50 - 8 Castres|
|Toulon 60 - 22 Ulster|
|Saracens 33 - 10 Munster|
|Friday 16th January|
|Leicester 40 - 23 Scarlets|
|Sunday 14th December|
|Scarlets 22 - 13 Ulster|
|Clermont Auvergne 26 - 19 Munster|
|Wasps 44 - 17 Castres|
|Saturday 13th December|
|Leinster 14 - 13 Harlequins|
|Saracens 28 - 15 Sale Sharks|
Read the thoughts and opinions of Phil Edwards with skysports.com