Saints too strong for Ospreys
Sun, 20 Oct 2013 17:23
Northampton Saints bounced back from an opening defeat by Castres to beat Ospreys 27-16 on Sunday in their second European Cup pool match.
The Saints - European champions in 2000 and finalists in 2011 - moved to within a point of three-time winners Leinster, who beat Castres on Saturday, and whom they will face in a double header when the competition resumes in December.
Defeat for Welsh outfit Ospreys leaves them pointless after two games and struggling to reach the quarterfinals despite a side possessing the talents of Wales stars George North, Alun-Wyn Jones and Dan Biggar.
It was flyhalf Biggar who got Ospreys back into the match early in the second-half scoring a try which he converted to leave them trailing only 17-14.
However, the hosts replied with a try of their own - their second of the game after lock Christian Day had scored in the first-half - through England fullback Ben Foden, who was at the end of a move which saw Lee Dickson provide the decisive pass for his 14th try in the competition.
Stephen Myler converted for 24-16 and both he and Biggar exchanged penalties, although Saints may come to rue not grabbing a bonus point as Dan Pisi was held up yards short of the line.
Man of the match Courtney Lawes said that they had been highly-motivated to get a win on the board after the opening loss to Castres.
"The boys came out with a great attitude and we replicated that in the way we played," he said.
"Twenty tackles from me I'll take that. Just happens a lot of people ran into me!"
Ospreys captain Alun-Wyn Jones said his side had improved on their performance from the opening home defeat against Leinster.
"This week it was a case of a little chat and more work," he said.
"The result didn't go our way but I'm proud of the guys.
"We have to be candid and admit there is a mountain to climb to qualify but we won't give up."
French sides Clermont and Perpignan also bounced back after opening defeats, beating Harlequins (23-16) and Edinburgh (31-14) respectively.
Clermont, beaten finalists last season, looked like they would rack up a huge score when they ran in three tries in the first 26 minutes.
However, Clermont's Welsh star Lee Byrne's sin-binning two minutes after that handed the initiative to the English side and they hammered that home with a try on the half-time whistle as Tom Williams went over.
The second-half was a scrappy affair but Nick Evans may have grabbed what turns out to be a vital bonus point for Harlequins with a last minute drop goal but it was not enough to stop Clermont extending their unbeaten home record to 65 matches.
Byrne, who scored one of their tries, said he and his team-mates had to put away their chances if they are to finally land the trophy, especially as this might be the last year of its existence with French and English clubs planning a breakaway tournament.
"After losing to Toulon in the final last season we have come back more determined than ever to set matters right, it is very important to us," said the Welsh fullback.
Perpignan, who lost to Gloucester in the opening game, lead Munster by a point, as the former champions rebounded from their opening defeat to beat Gloucester 26-10 in Limerick on Saturday.
It was a great weekend overall for the Irish provinces as both the weakest of them, Connacht, beat Zebre and Ulster won for only the second time in the competition's history in France, with a 25-8 win over Montpellier.
In contrast to Ospreys' defeat, the two other Welsh sides enjoyed good results, Scarlets drew 26-26 in a thriller at home to French side Racing-Metro while Cardiff Blues had an even better result, bouncing back from defeat by Exeter to defeat holders Toulon 19-15 in Cardiff.
All of Sunday's teams and scorers:
Northampton Saints 27-16 Ospreys
Tries: Manoa, Day, Foden
Cons: Myler 3
Pens: Myler 2
Pens: Biggar 3
Northampton Saints: 15 Ben Foden, 14 Jamie Elliott, 13 George Pisi, 12 Luther Burrell, 11 George North, 10 Steve Myler, 9 Lee Dickson, 8 Samu Manoa, 7 Phil Dowson, 6 Tom Wood, 5 Christian Day, 4 Courtney Lawes, 3 Salesi Ma'afu, 2 Dylan Hartley (captain), 1 Alex Waller.
Replacements: 16 Mikey Haywood, 17 Ethan Waller, 18 Gareth Denman, 19 Gerrit-Jan van Velze, 20 Calum Clark, 21 Kahn Fotuali'i, 22 James Wilson, 23 Ken Pisi.
Ospreys: 15 Richard Fussell, 14 Jeff Hassler, 13 Andrew Bishop, 12 Ashley Beck, 11 Eli Walker, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Tom Habberfield, 8 Joe Bearman, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Ryan Jones, 5 James King, 4 Alun Wyn Jones (captain), 3 Adam Jones, 2 Richard Hibbard, 1 Ryan Bevington.
Replacements: 16 Scott Baldwin, 17 Duncan Jones, 18 Aaron Jarvis, 19 Tyler Ardron, 20 Morgan Allen, 21 Sam Lewis, 22 Tito Tebaldi, 23 Matthew Morgan.
Referee: Alain Rolland (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Stuart Gaffikin (Ireland), Jonathan Peak (Ireland)
TMO: Simon McDowell (Ireland)
Perpignan 31-14 Edinburgh
Tries: Michel, Mjekevu 2, Purll
Cons: Hook 4
Tries: Visser, Du Preez
Cons: Laidlaw 2
Perpignan: 15 Joffrey Michel, 14 Watisoni Votu, 13 David Marty, 12 Sione Piukala, 11 Richard Haughton, 10 James Hook, 9 Dewaldt Duvenage, 8 Luke Narraway, 7 Jean-Pierre Perez, 6 Justin Purll, 5 Romain Taofifenua, 4 Sebastien Vahaamahina, 3 George Jgenti, 2 Guilhem Guirado (captain), 1 Sona Taumalolo.
Replacements: 16 Romain Terrain, 17 Sebastien Taofifenua, 18 Kisi Pulu, 19 Karl Chateau, 20 Nicolas Durand, 21 Tommy Allan, 22 Wandile Mjekevu, 23 Luke Charteris.
Edinburgh: 15 Jack Cuthbert, 14 Douglas Fife, 13 Nick De Luca, 12 Matt Scott, 11 Tim Visser, 10 Harry Leonard, 9 Greig Laidlaw (captain), 8 David Denton, 7 Roddy Grant, 6 Cornell Du Preez, 5 Sean Cox, 4 Grant Gilchrist, 2 Ross Ford, 3 WP Nel, 1 Alasdair Dickinson.
Replacements: 16 Aleki Lutui, 17 Lodewicus Blaauw, 18 Geoff Cross, 19 Izak Van Der Westhuizen, 20 Tomas Leonardi, 21 Sam Hidalgo-Clyne, 22 Joaquin Dominguez, 23 Greig Tonks.
Referee: Marius Mitrea
Clermont Auvergne 23-13 Harlequins
Tries: Byrne, Fofana, Lacrampe
Pens: James 2
Pens: Botica, Evans
ASM Clermont Auvergne: 15 Lee Byrne, 14 Aurélien Rougerie (captain), 13 Regan King, 12 Wesley Fofana, 11 Sitiveni Sivivatu, 10 Brock James, 9 Thierry Lacrampe, 8 Damien Chouly, 7 Alexandre Lapandry, 6 Julien Bonnaire, 5 Nathan Hines, 4 Julien Pierre, 3 Daniel Kotze, 2 Benjamin Kayser, 1 Vincent Debaty.
Replacements: 16 Ti'i Paulo, 17 Raphael Chaume, 18 Clément Ric, 19 Loic Jacquet, 20 Gerhard Vosloo, 21 Ludovic Radoslavjevic , 22 Mike Delany, 23 Naipolioni Nalaga.
Harlequins: 15 Mike Brown, 14 Paul Sackey, 13 Matt Hopper, 12 Ben Botica, 11 Tom Williams, 10 Nick Evans, 9 Danny Care, 8 Tom Guest, 7 Chris Robshaw (captain), 6 Luke Wallace, 5 George Robson, 4 Nick Easter, 3 Will Collier, 2 Rob Buchanan, 1 Joe Marler.
Replacements: 16 Dave Ward, 17 Mark Lambert, 18 Kyle Sinckler, 19 George Merrick, 20 Joe Trayfoot, 21 Karl Dickson, 22 Sam Smith, 23 Charlie Walker.
Referee: George Clancy
Glasgow Warriors 20-16 Exeter Chiefs
Tries: Swinson, Holmes
Cons: Jackson 2
Pens: Jackson 2
Pens: Steenson 3
Glasgow Warriors: 15 Sean Maitland, 14 Tommy Seymour, 13 Byron McGuigan, 12 Gabriel Ascarate, 11 DTH van der Merwe, 10 Ruaridh Jackson, 9 Niko Matawalu, 8 Josh Strauss, 7 Tyrone Holmes, 6 Rob Harley, 5 Al Kellock (captain), 4 Tim Swinson, 3 Ed Kalman, 2 Pat MacArthur, 1 Ryan Grant.
Replacements: 16 Dougie Hall, 17 Jerry Yanuyanutawa, 18 Moray Low, 19 Jonny Gray, 20 Richie Vernon, 21 Chris Cusiter, 22 Duncan Weir, 23 Mark Bennett.
Exeter Chiefs: 15 Phil Dollman, 14 Ian Whitten, 13 Jason Shoemark, 12 Sam Hill, 11 Matt Jess, 10 Gareth Steenson, 9 Dave Lewis, 8 Dave Ewers, 7 Ben White, 6 Tom Johnson, 5 Damian Welch, 4 Dean Mumm (captain), 3 Hoani Tui, 2 Chris Whitehead, 1 Ben Moon.
Replacements: 16 Jack Yeandle, 17 Brett Sturgess, 18 Alex Brown, 19 Don Armand, 20 Kai Horstmann, 21 Haydn Thomas, 22 Henry Slade, 23 Fetu'u Vainikolo.
Referee: Romain Poite
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