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Ospreys boss Booth: 'I thought we gave them a real fright'

By PA
(Photo by PA)

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Ospreys director of rugby Toby Booth felt his side gave high-flying Racing 92 a “real fright” before the French side ran out 25-10 winners in the Heineken Champions Cup.

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The defeat meant Ospreys have not picked up a point in their three group matches and face an early exit from the competition, with only a tough away fixture at Sale to come.

Keiran Williams’s try coupled with Gareth Anscombe’s conversion and penalty gave the spirited Welsh region a brief 10-3 lead in a match played behind closed doors in Swansea.

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But Racing 92 then scored three tries from Julian Imhoff, Teddy Thomas and Virimi Vakatawa, with Antoine Gibert converting two and Finn Russell adding a penalty.

Booth said: “I thought we gave them a real fright. We talked about doing stuff that we’d be proud of and we focused on that as a team.

“But against the very best, if you don’t finish what you create then the best are going to keep coming at you.

“Then we couldn’t get out of our half, there was a lit bit of line-out pressure and it fell at a critical time. They capitalised on that and that is what good sides do and that is a side we are trying to be.

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“There were a lot of encouraging signs from the first half but afterwards they started to win a few more collisions.

“You can only maintain stuff for so long but we created enough turnover ball. But if you then kick up the pitch and don’t secure the line-out, you can’t build pressure in their half.”

Racing’s win guarantees them a quarter-final spot but the three-time losing finalists will have to improve their performance if they are going to lift the trophy.

Their Scotland and British and Irish Lions fly-half Finn Russell said: “It was far from our best performance. It was frustrating as there were occasions that we were in their 22 but didn’t come away with points. There were a lot of errors and poor discipline.

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“We are through to the next round but we weren’t happy with our effort. Credit to Ospreys, they won a lot of collisions up front in the first 60 minutes, but in the end it showed the power that we had coming off the bench.”

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