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Ospreys suffer heavy defeat at hands of Bernard Laporte's Montpellier

By PA
Montpellier's french manager Bernard Laporte is seen prior to the French Top14 rugby union match between Aviron Bayonnais (Bayonne) and Montpellier Herault Rugby at Stade Jean Dauger in Bayonne, south-western France on December 2, 2023. (Photo by GAIZKA IROZ / AFP) (Photo by GAIZKA IROZ/AFP via Getty Images)

Morgan Morse, George North and Harri Houston all saw yellow as Ospreys slumped to a 38-5 European Rugby Challenge Cup defeat at Montpellier.

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The Welshmen were up against it at the GGL Stadium when number eight Morse was sent to the sin bin and they trailed 19-0 at the break courtesy of George Bridge’s double, a third try from Leo Coly and Paolo Garbisi’s two successful conversions, with North also having been yellow-carded for a deliberate knock-on.

The visitors finally opened their account when scrum-half Reuben Morgan-Williams crossed, but Vano Karkadze and Auguste Cadot twice went over, with two more conversions boosting the scoreline as Houston completed an unwelcome hat-trick.

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mitch 51 minutes ago
The Wallabies team Joe Schmidt must pick to win back Bledisloe Cup

Rodda will be a walk up starter at lock. Frost if you analyse his dominance has little impact and he’s a long way from being physical enough, especially when you compare to Rodda and the work he does. He was quite poor at the World Cup in his lack of physicality. Between Rodda and Skelton we would have locks who can dominate the breakdown and in contact. Frost is maybe next but Schmidt might go for a more physical lock who does their core work better like Ryan or LSL. Swain is no chance unless there’s a load of injuries. Pollard hasn’t got the scrum ability yet to be considered. Nasser dominated him when they went toe to toe and really showed him up. Picking Skelton effects who can play 6 and 8. Ideally Valetini would play 6 as that’s his best position and Wilson at 8 but that’s not ideal for lineout success. Cale isn’t physical enough yet in contact and defence but is the best backrow lineout jumper followed by Wright, Hanigan and Swinton so unfortunately Valetini probably will start at 8 with Wright or Hanigan at 6. Wilson on the bench, he’s got too much quality not to be in the squad. Paisami is leading the way at 12 but Hamish Stewart is playing extremely well also and his ball carrying has improved significantly. Beale is also another option based on the weekend. Beale is class but he’s also the best communicator of any Australian backline player and that can’t be underestimated, he’ll be in the mix.

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