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Stade Francais overcome Ospreys

Monday 9th October 2006

12:00 am (GMT)

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- 09/10/2006 10:31

- 09/10/2006 10:31

The result of the clash between Stade Francais Paris and Ospreys could determine who wins what will be a very tight Pool.

Stade recorded a win over Calvisano in Round 1 as expected, and the Ospreys squeezed a crucial last minute win over Sale.

With both sides packed with internationals, and both in fine form in their domestic leagues, this is going to be a cracking match that could go to the wire.

Gavin Henson is back in the Ospreys team after his late withdrawal from the side that beat Sale Sharks 17-16 last Friday.
the Ospreys bid to become only the second Heineken Cup side to ever win at Stade Francais and emulate Munster’s 2002 16-14 victory.

Henson links up with All Blacks’ scrum-half Justin Marshall in the side captained by Wales prop Duncan Jones, while Huw Bennett comes in for Barry Williams at hooker.

Ospreys coach Lyn Jones said: “It was great to start this competition with a positive result against English champions Sale.

“We recognise that we have to improve what we can control and that primarily that means focusing on our performance.

“Saturday’s fixture represents what I am sure most rugby people would agree is the toughest test in European rugby.

“To face the French Championship leaders on their home patch is a massive challenge, but we will have to be careful not to show them too much respect.

“We will work on factors that are within our control, being our preparation and performance.

“We will concentrate on what is good in our game and look to go out and express ourselves in a positive manner.

“We clearly have the manpower required to get a result and if we see an improvement on last week’s performance, particularly in attack, we will be in with a shout.”

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Stade Francais overcome Ospreys

Monday 9th October 2006

12:00 am (GMT)

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- 09/10/2006 10:31

- 09/10/2006 10:31

Stade Francais were made to work hard for their win by a spirited Ospreys side who had their chances to sneak a rare win on French soil.

Stade’s replacement fly-half Lionel Beauxis laid on the match-turning try by gliding through the Welsh regions’ defence to lay on a try for Italian centre Mirco Bergamasco and landed the kicks which pulled the home side clear.

But the Ospreys made a fist of it with tries by Sonny Parker and Lee Byrne keeping the home side under pressure, but two second-half penalty misses by Gavin Henson put the Welsh on the backfoot.

Stade opened the scoring when fly-half David Skrela landed a difficult penalty attempt from 40 yards out on the far touchline after 12 minutes.

But the Ospreys took the lead less than five minutes later when former All Blacks scrum-half dummied right from the scrum, leaving No 8 Ryan Jones to exploit the hole to his left.

Fly-half Gavin Henson worked a scissors with Sonny Parker and the big centre handed off a few would-be tackler to touch down for the try out wide.

Henson slotted the conversion as the Ospreys took the lead 7-3. This was not in the script as far as Stade were concerned and they punished their guests with a spell of intense pressure on the Ospreys’ line.

Only a last-ditch tackle from flanker Steve Tandy and some good covering defence by Marshall kept the hosts at bay.

The pressure told when Tandy pulled a maul down and from Skrela kicked the resulting penalty to narrow the lead to 7-6.

Use of the boot saw the Ospreys reduced to 14 men when former All Black flanker Filo Tiatia was yellow carded and Skrela landed his third penalty to wrestle the lead back at 9-7.

The Ospreys went on the attack with Henson twice going wide with drop goal attempts and inside-centre Andrew Bishop was hauled down just a yard short of the line.

The home side failed to capitalise on their numerical advantage to make it 9-7 at the break.

The Ospreys brought on Wales forwards Jonathan Thomas and promising young talent Alun Wyn Jones.

They spent the opening exchanges of the second-half in Stade territory and Henson could count himself unlucky to see his penalty attempt hit the post.

Marshall was brought down on his way to the try line, but the home defence killed the ball presenting Henson with another penalty attempt which went wide.

Shortly after, James Hook took over at fly-half for luckless Henson.

Ryan Jones found himself offside at a ruck to allow replacement fly-half Lionel Beauxis to put his side 12-7 with a well-struck penalty on 18 minutes.

The sucker punch was landed just seconds later when a flowing move cut the Ospreys defence to pieces and ended with Beauxis giving a scoring pass to Italian centre Mirco Bergamasco to dive in under the posts.

Beuxis’ conversion put Stade in the driving seat at 19-7, before a try by replacement forward Rodrigo Roncero killed off the Ospreys.
Lee Byrne’s late try was no more than consolation before No 8 Sergio Parisse wrapped up the scoring with a late drop goal. 

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