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Ospreys pull off stunning Champions Cup victory over Montpellier

17 Dec 2022 3 minute read
Alex Cuthbert in action. Photo David Davies PA Images

Ospreys stunned Top 14 champions Montpellier 21-10 to claim their first win in the Heineken Champions Cup in 13 matches.

After a draw and 11 straight defeats, the Welsh side finally ended their losing run with a performance full of commitment and character to notch a colossal victory on the road – their first in France since they beat Bourgoin in 2008.

Reacting to their home defeat by Leicester a week earlier, Ospreys dominated long periods of the game and would have taken a try bonus-point as well had the TMO not found an angle after minutes of deliberation that showed Alex Cuthbert had put a toe on the line as he stretched full length to score what would have been a sensational effort in the 69th minute.

There was an explosive start to the game with the visitors going through a number of phases from the kick-off and then home scrum-half Cobus Reinach breaking out of his 22 and putting in a great kick and chase to pen the Welsh region back into their 22.

After that frantic start, Louis Carbonel kicked the first points of the game in the fifth minute, but it was Ospreys who dominated the scoring for the rest of the first half.

Their superb defensive action further frustrated the home side and they led 14-3 at the break.

Hooker Sam Parry twice charged for the line midway through the first half and on the first occasion was just held up.

Ospreys had a penalty and from the next line-out five metres out Parry made no mistake with the drive.

In control

Owen Williams added the extras and Ospreys were in control, even more so when they conjured up a second try. That came moments after Montpellier lock Florian Verhaeghe picked up a yellow card on a totting up basis.

That gave the visitors the chance to attack from another five-metre line-out and after Parry had charged up to the line, Rhys Webb fed his centre Keiran Williams to step his way over from a few metres out. Once again Owen Williams landed the conversion.

Ospreys lost Luke Morgan to a yellow card for a clumsy aerial challenge on Zach Mercer just before the break, but by the time he returned no damage had been done.

In fact, it was not until the 56th minute that the top team in France were able to notch their only try of the game.

It came from a driving line and ended with Australian hooker Brandon Paenga-Amosa crashing over for a score that Carbonel converted superbly off the touchline.

Ospreys hit back with a third try seven minutes later when man of the match Morgan Morris stretched to score in the left corner.

Owen Williams hit the target again and they almost scored again to make it five points, but the TMO’s eagle eye denied them.

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