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Ospreys v Sale - Pool 3


An Tarbh

Ryan Jones has passed a late fitness test to take his place in the Ospreys back row for their HEC opener against English champions Sale. Filo Tiatia moves to blind-side flanker, while centre Andrew Bishop and hooker Barry Williams return.

Sale have made 2 changes from their match with Irish last Sunday with Ben Evans replacing Stuart Turner and Sililo Martens is back at scrum-half for Richard Wigglesworth.

Ospreys: L Byrne; N Walker, S Parker, A Bishop, S Williams; G Henson, J Marshall; D Jones (capt), B Williams, A Jones, B Cockbain, I Evans, F Tiatia, S Tandy, R Jones.
Replacements: H Bennett, P James, A Wyn Jones, J Thomas, J Spice, S Connor, J Hook.

Sale: J Robinson (capt); M Cueto, M Taylor, E Seveali'i, O Ripol; C Hodgson, S Martens; A Sheridan, S Bruno, B Evans, C Jones, D Schofield, J White, M Lund, I Fernandez Lobbe.
Replacements: S Turner, B Stewart, N Briggs, S Chabal, C Day, R Wigglesworth, D Larrechea.

Referee: Joel Jutge (Fra).
Ospreys complete a late win over Sale to give themselves a decent chance of progressing into the knockout stages, all they need now, I say ALL they need now is one big away win and that should do it.

Full time match report from the BBC

Ospreys 17-16 Sale Sharks
Ospreys (10) 17
Tries: S. Williams (2)
Cons: Connor, Hook
Pens: Connor
Sale Sharks (10) 16
Tries: Fernandez Lobbe
Cons: Hodgson
Pens: Hodgson (3)

James Hook converted Shane Williams' injury-time try to give the Ospreys a dramatic Heineken Cup win over Sale.
Charlie Hodgson's second-half penalties had looked to been enough for Sale, but Hook held his nerve with the last kick of the match to grab the points.

The sides were level 10-10 at the break after a Williams try was cancelled out by Juan Fernandez Lobbe's score.

Hodgson's late penalty put Sale 10-16 up, but Williams found a way through the Sale defence for a thrilling end.

Ospreys suffered a late blow as Gavin Henson was forced to pull out of the starting XV with a hamstring injury.

Connor took over at fly-half and he helped the home side to an early advantage as the game began at an encouraging pace.

A second-minute penalty got the scoreboard ticking over and then Connor delivered the final pass that sent Williams over in the right corner for the opening try.

Scrum-half Justin Marshall created the damage with break inside his own half, and Williams showed great strength to withstand Hodgson's last-ditch tackle to touchdown.

But the Ospreys let Sale back into the game almost immediately as full-back Lee Byrne took too much time to clear from inside his own 22.

Byrne's stumble allowed Hodgson to charge down his kick, and the ball fell perfectly for number eight Fernandez Lobbe to gather and cross the tryline unopposed.

Hodgson converted, but then wasted the chance to put his side ahead by missing two penalties just before the half-hour mark.

Ospreys lock Brent Cockbain was sent to the sin bin in first-half injury-time for a stamp on Fernandez Lobbe, and then Hodgson ended a poor first period with his first penalty to level the scores.

The England fly-half put Sale ahead for the first time in the match shortly after the break with his second penalty.

Slick attacking play became even less evident as the game descended into a monotonous forward battle, littered by turnovers and unforced errors.

Hodgson stretched Sale's lead to six points with his third penalty three minutes from time and the victory looked safe for the Guinness Premiership champions

But the Ospreys suddenly came into life as the match entered injury time, and camped themselves in the Sale 22 by going through several phases for the first time in the match.

Their patience finally told as Byrne, after a superb hand-off on Oriol Ripol, fed Williams to cross on the right and replacement Hook made no mistake with the conversion to snatch victory.

Ospreys coach Lyn Jones:
"I thought this game would go to the wire, and it is not nice to lose like that.
"It happened to us against Leicester in the Heineken Cup last season, and we were devastated. To be honest, we still probably haven't got over that result.

"I think there is a 25% improvement to come from us - we need a more accurate kicking game and we didn't play with the width we would have liked. We didn't put our name on the game, if you like.

"If we had lost tonight we would have been out of the competition, but we have got to go to Stade - which is probably the toughest away game in European rugby - and play to our strengths."

Sale rugby director Philippe Saint-Andre:
"We were in control of the game but we were not clinical enough and did not score enough points.
"When you are in control like that you have to be more than six points clear during the final minutes.

"I was annoyed with our performance, during the first 10 minutes especially.

"We dropped the kick-off, then missed three or four tackles and saw them score a try down our blindside."

Ospreys: L Byrne; S Williams, S Parker, A Bishop, N Walker; S Connor, J Marshall; D Jones (capt), B Williams, A Jones, B Cockbain, I Evans, F Tiatia, S Tandy, R Jones.
Replacements: Hook for Connor (59), Spice for Marshall (57), James for D. Jones (60), Bennett for B. Williams (57), A. Jones for Cockbain (54), Thomas for Tiatia (57).
Not Used: Terblanche.

Sin Bin: Cockbain (38).

Sale: J Robinson (capt); M Cueto, M Taylor, E Seveali'i, O Ripol; C Hodgson, S Martens; A Sheridan, S Bruno, B Evans, C Jones, D Schofield, J White, M Lund, J Fernandez Lobbe.
Replacements: Larrechea for Cueto (12), Wigglesworth for Martens (45), Briggs for Bruno (66), Turner for Evans (45), Chabal for Schofield (55).
Not Used: Day, Mayor.

Att: 13,529.

Referee: Joel Jutge (Fra).


Thought the crowd was a bit dissappointing, yeah it was up on their Celtic League average but thought there would be more considering it was such a big match. Fair play to the Ospreys though, had Sale down for the win on this one.
i nearly did a gareth thomas

i seriously was so blurred visiong ans shaken up, i havent been this excited since wales beat the aussies.
It's a massive win alright, does Sale no amount of damage cause the chances of them going to Paris and getting the win are slim as well, whether Ospreys can get a result in Stockport though might depend on Sale's trip to Paris.
we shouldnt really want henson to fail, i mean both these guys have heaps of class, and we should count our blessings tht there both welsh.
It is odd that he started Connor infront of Hook. O'Connor has been playing well, but I would of loved to see Hook have a full match against a big side.
Hopefully he will start in the rest of the Heineken Cup matches

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