OSPREYS suffered defeat against Racing 92 in the European Champions Cup on Saturday (Jan 15) despite holding a half time lead.
Racing 92 got the first points on the board thanks to scrumhalf Maxime Machenaud but it was the Ospreys who got the first try.
Centre Keiran Williams, who was making his first start since October 2021, touched down following a series of powerful and determined carries from the Ospreys which rocked Racing onto the back foot.
The try was converted by outside half Gareth Anscombe who later slotted another penalty through the posts to give the Ospreys a 10-3 lead.
The French side hit back after half an hour though as the ball was spun wide to French international Teddy Thomas, who chipped over Ospreys’ fullback Mat Protheroe and hacked on before the Argentinian international, Juan Imhoff, grounded the wobbling ball over the try line. The conversion was missed and Ospreys clung on to a two-point lead.
Two chances then went begging for the Ospreys, a dropped ball on the left wing which could’ve seen a lightning-fast footrace between Racing’s Thomas and Ospreys’ Luke Morgan; and another when Protheroe looked for all the world as if he was to intercept a long pass and sprint away unopposed, but the speedster was unable to hold on to the ball and Racing were let off the hook again.
The opening exchanges of the second half were just as physical as the first, but a deliberate knockdown by Ospreys flanker Will Griffiths meant the Ospreys faced another ten minute stint with a man down.
Despite some incredibly physical defending, Racing 92 secured two tries and a penalty. The first try came from a scrappy loose ball on the ground, which allowed Racing’s Gael Fickou to break up the field, and feed fellow centre Virimi Vakatawa to run in under the posts.
The final try came courtesy of Teddy Thomas, who managed to get the ball in space out on the wing and used all his deceptive feet and strength to get over the line.
The Ospreys are in action again on Sunday, January 23, as they travel to Sale for their next game in the Champions Cup.