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PREVIEW: Ospreys expect frosty Grenoble reception

Tuesday 6th December 2016

12:00 am (GMT)

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Ospreys lock Rory Thornton is determined to continue their red-hot European Rugby Challenge Cup

Ospreys lock Rory Thornton is determined to continue their red-hot European Rugby Challenge Cup

Ospreys lock Rory Thornton is determined to continue their red-hot European Rugby Challenge Cup, but is expecting a frosty reception in Grenoble.

The Ospreys backed up their bonus-point round one triumph over Newcastle Falcons in round one by taking maximum points in a 31-13 triumph over Lyon at the Matmut Stadium. Steve Tandy’s men are out to claim victory on French soil once again as they bid to strengthen their grip on Challenge Cup Pool 2.

While the Welsh region top the pool, Grenoble are yet to register a point and sit bottom of the pool after defeats to the Falcons and Lyon. Last season’s semi-finalists are also struggling on the domestic front, as they prop up the TOP14.

They will be facing an Ospreys side without injured Wales flanker Dan Lydiate. But that has not stopped Tandy’s men from winning their last three matches. In-form wing Keelan Giles is set to play a part after scoring his ninth try in six matches last weekend.

Thornton said: “An emphasis for us is about keeping this winning momentum going. We’ve built it up as a team and now we have to make sure we go out there and perform. Everyone knows their role on the field no matter who we come up against.

“We are just focusing on the job at Grenoble. It’s good to have a change of scene and a fresh competition to focus on. I can imagine it being a cold one going over to Grenoble at this time of the year. The Challenge Cup has been good for us this season but we take every game as it comes and we don’t think too far ahead.

“I’m sure Grenoble will have a big pack, they always seem to be forward orientated. But we will have done our homework looking at their strengths and weaknesses, and we will be fully prepared on Thursday night.”

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REPORT: Ospreys in command in Pool 2

Friday 9th December 2016

12:00 am (GMT)

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Longtemps à portée d'Exeter

Longtemps à portée d'Exeter

The Ospreys got off to a flying start in a match that had been delayed for a day because of a frozen pitch on Thursday night and bagged the bonus-point by half-time before going on to score nine tries in a 59-7 win.

The first of those four first-half tries came from New Zealand centre Kieron Fonotia, as he ran in  European debut try that proved the Pool 2 table-toppers were in a hurry to get the job done. Dan Biggar added the extras and did the same 10 minutes later.

The second try came from hooker Sam Parry from a familiar route. The Ospreys won a line-out in the home 22 and Parry was able to burrow over for his sixth score of the season.

Having scored 14 points in as many minutes, the Ospreys tried to maintained the pressure and pace, but fund that Grenoble, without a TOP 14 to their credit this season, were still very much up for the fight. They grabbed a try back via centre Clement Gelin at the posts which Gilles Bosch converted.

Italian official Marius Mirtrea ruled out an appeal for a second home score after they had driven up to and seemingly over the Ospreys line and by the break the Welsh region had extended their lead to 28-7 with two more tries.

Inspirational skipper Alun Wyn Jones drove over from close range for the third, only his seventh try in 54 European outings, but a record 21st for a forward at the Ospreys in all games. Fijian centre Josh Matavesi ran in from the home 22 for another try that Biggar improved.

The Ospreys came into the game with a five point lead at the top and their bonus point threw down the gauntlet to Lyon and Newcastle Falcons in the chasing pack as they kicked off later in the night in France. The tries continued to flow after the break s the visitors’ maintained their pressure.

The outstanding Justin Tipuric got over the Grenoble line after some great inter-play between backs and forwards, but the try was ruled out because of the grounding The TMO was called into action again a few minutes later when some great handling skills saw Dafydd Howells cross in the corner.

This time the try was given, but Biggar was unable to convert from near the touchline. He did improve a second score from the wing in the 57th minute to extend the lead to 33 points.

Giles grabbed a second to make it seven tries in three matches in his debut season in Europe before Biggar hoisted his night’s tally to 19 with a ninth try.

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