Clermont survive Ospreys fightback
CHAMPIONS CUP REPORT: Clermont Auvergne's sheer power was enough to earn them victory as the Ospreys' difficult patch continued in their Champions Cup Pool Two encounter at the Liberty Stadium.
Clermont got off to a sizzling start when Alivereti Raka barged through two tackles to score, before some slack Ospreys defending was exposed by Camille Lopez, who offloaded for Scott Spedding to ease over the line.
Rhys Webb's score reduced arrears, but the unerring boot of skipper Morgan Parra - on his 200th appearance for Clermont - was to prove decisive. He slotted two penalties before half-time, then another just after to extend the visitors' lead to 23-7.
Two Dan Evans tries reduced the deficit to just two points with five minutes to go, but Clermont resisted the Welsh side's pressure gallantly, and a brilliant penalty from behind the halfway line by Spedding late on sealed it.
Ospreys enjoyed 70 percent possession, but were unable to convert their opportunities when it mattered.
In converting Ospreys' second try, Dan Biggar passed the 500 points mark in European competition, becoming the third Welshman to do so after Stephen Jones and Neil Jenkins.
Tries: Webb, Evans 2
Cons: Biggar 3
Tries: Raka, Spedding
Cons: Parra 2
Pens: Parra 3, Spedding
Ospreys: 15 Dan Evans, 14 Keelan Giles, 13 Kieron Fonotia, 12 Owen Watkin, 11 Cory Allen, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Rhys Webb, 8 Dan Baker, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (captain), 4 Bradley Davies, 3 Dmitri Arhip, 2 Scott Otten, 1 Nicky Smith.
Replacements: 16 Sam Parry, 17 Paul James, 18 Ma’afu Fia, 19 Lloyd Ashley, 20 Olly Cracknell, 21 Tom Habberfield, 22 Sam Davies, 23 James Hook.
Clermont: 15 Scott Spedding, 14 David Strettle, 13 Damian Penaud, 12 Remi Lamerat, 11 Alivereti Raka, 10 Camille Lopez, 9 Morgan Parra, 8 Fritz Lee, 7 Alexandre Lapandry, 6 Judicaël Cancoriet, 5 Sébastien Vahaamahina, 4 Paul Jedrasiak, 3 Rabah Slimani, 2 Benjamin Kayser 1 Raphael Chaume.
Replacements: 16 Yohan Beheregaray, 17 Etienne Falgoux, 18 Aaron Jarvis, 19 Sitaleki Timani, 20 Peceli Yato, 21 Greig Laidlaw, 22 Pato Fernandez, 23 Peter Betham.
Referee: Andrew Brace (Ireland)
Assistant referees: Nigel Correll (Ireland), Mark Patton (Ireland)
TMO: Peter Fitzgibbon (Ireland)