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Ospreys head to France this weekend to take on Montpellier Hérault Rugby in Round 2 of the Heineken Champions Cup – as the two sides meet in the competition for the first time.
Ospreys began their campaign with a 23-17 home defeat to Leicester Tigers but will be buoyed by their spirited display against the Gallagher Premiership champions.
Meanwhile, Montpellier enjoyed a victory on the road, recovering from 11 points down at the break to triumph 32-27 at London Irish.
The Pool B match kicks off at 20:00 (UK & Irish time) at the GGL Stadium on Saturday, and is available to watch on beIN SPORTS, S4C, BT Sport, SuperSport and FloRugby.
Comeback o'clock ⏰ @JohnnySexton returns to the bench for @leinsterrugby, while @JakePolledri is back for @gloucesterrugby 😍 @madoshtambwe returns for @UBBrugby and @AmLukhanyo is back on @SharksRugby's bench 🔥#HeinekenChampionsCup team news ➡️ https://t.co/TAY8skUcGV pic.twitter.com/q3acalHdq6
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) December 15, 2022
Ospreys hooker Dewi Lake: “The first thing you think about French teams is a big pack: big scrum, big lineout, big driving maul, they can rip you apart. There’s no room to sit off playing French teams.
“A lot of the time playing English or Welsh teams you might make a couple of dominant tackles then you know a box kick is coming – whereas you play French teams and you’d be lucky to make a dominant tackle in the first place.
Montpellier Hérault Rugby
- Montpellier made the most tackles in Round 1 – a hefty 201.
- They also made 25 ‘pick and gos’ – the most in the round.
- Zach Mercer made the most carries (23) and the most metres in contact (28).
- Ospreys were the only team in Round 1 to have two mauls that travelled more than ten metres.
- They have lost their last four matches away from home.
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Ospreys recorded a famous Heineken Champions Cup win at Montpellier Hérault Rugby on Saturday night as they triumphed 21-10 at GGL Stadium.
The Welsh region shocked the TOP 14 champions with tries from Sam Parry, Kieran Williams and Morgan Morris, and produced an immense defensive effort to restrict the hosts to just one score.
Brandon Paenga-Amosa crossed for Montpellier, who were ultimately outfought and outclassed on their own turf.
Fly-half Louis Carbonel opened the scoring with a penalty for Montpellier on four minutes, and the French side would have expected to push on from there.
But Ospreys proved stern opposition, defending resolutely before hooker Parry crashed over on 20 minutes amid a driving maul.
An extended period of pressure prior to that score also saw Montpellier lock Florian Verhaeghe yellow-carded, and though there was no further score during that 10 minutes, Ospreys crossed again moments after as centre Williams picked his way through with a great finish.
Ospreys looked to have handed Montpellier a route back into the game as wing Luke Morgan was sin-binned for taking out the French side’s No.8 Zach Mercer in the air on 33 minutes.
What a game as some Welsh wizardry is added to the power 🪄
— Heineken Champions Cup (@ChampionsCup) December 17, 2022
But the visitors reached the break without conceding, a series of tremendous defensive efforts seeing Montpellier come up empty-handed.
More top defensive work saw Ospreys survive the remainder of Luke Morgan’s sin bin, but Montpellier finally found a way through on 56 minutes as hooker Paenga-Amosa dotted following a maul.
Carbonel’s conversion cut the gap to four points, but Ospreys would notch a third try six minutes later as lock Adam Beard’s miss-pass picked out No.8 Morris, who crashed through the contact and over.
And the visitors almost snatched a bonus-point try when wing Alex Cuthbert looked to have finished brilliantly in the corner, but a lengthy TMO review revealed that he had a toe in touch.
More colossal defence followed as Ospreys closed the game out and stylishly ended an 11-game winless run in the competition, bouncing back from their Round 1 defeat at home to Leicester Tigers.
Montpellier and Ospreys clash again in Round 3, with the Welsh region welcoming their French opponents to Swansea.com Stadium on January 14.