Ospreys suffered a second defeat in the space of six days at the hands of Racing 92 as the French side emerged 40-27 winners in their Heineken Champions Cup clash in Paris.
A brace of tries from Juan Imhoff plus Louis Dupichot and Simon Zebo efforts saw Racing secure a bonus point before the break to stay top of Pool 4.
In the second period Georges-Henri Colombe and Yoan Tanga added further scores and scrum-half Maxime Machenaud kicked five conversions.
Luke Morgan’s try had put Ospreys ahead and a brace from Lesley Klim as well as Luke Price and Shaun Venter efforts ensured the Welsh side took home a bonus point for scoring five tries.
Ospreys still have just one win to their name this season, but they showed plenty of character in the final half an hour to finish strongly.
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A young Ospreys side made a positive start and in the eighth minute the visitors took a shock lead. Superb hands down the back-line saw Cai Evans send wing Morgan flying into the corner for a tremendous score.
Marty McKenzie could not convert and Racing hit straight back through Dupichot who had oceans of space to pick up and finish out wide after Cedate Gomes Sa had chased onto a loose ball.
McKenzie’s kick had been charged down in the build-up to that try and the Ospreys fly-half then had a floating pass intercepted by Imhoff who raced to the line, with Machenaud converting.
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Imhoff then had his second as Ben Volavola and Dupichot combined brilliantly in midfield, with the Argentina speedster scoring between the posts, and Machenaud couldn’t miss.
Ospreys missed a fine chance for a second as Lloyd Ashley’s awful pass gave Sam Cross no chance of collecting with the line at his mercy. There was still time for Racing to cross for a fourth before the break. Imhoff was again involved and Machenaud’s pass found Zebo who sprinted in.
Racing were never going to throw away a 26-5 half-time lead and giant replacement prop Colombe crashed over for a fifth try in the 49th minute. Machenaud converted and then took a quick tap penalty which laid the platform for Tanga to crash over. Machenaud kicked the goal again.
‘Honesty, fight, work ethic, togetherness, a good place to work… those values and characteristics are coming to the fore again’
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Klim then brushed off a poor Zebo tackle attempt to race to the corner, with Price converting.
Both teams unloaded their benches and the final quarter was end-to-end. Ospreys replacement Tom Williams did brilliantly to send Price to the line and his conversion struck the post.
Still, it gave the visitors confidence and Venter raced onto a clearance kick and Klim’s second rounded off the scoring in an entertaining game which featured eleven tries. It ensured Ospreys took their first point of the pool back to Swansea.
– Press Association
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