Planet Rugby

Ospreys bounce Bourgoin

10th November 2007 19:17

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Filo Tiatia Ospreys

Flying High: Filo Tiatia of the Ospreys finds a gap in the French lines

The Ospreys open their Heineken Cup campaign with a hard-fought 22-15 victory over Bourgoin at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea on Saturday, with James Hook and Gavin Henson sharing the home side's points tally.

Many believed the Welsh region, who had scored 98 points in their previous two games and fielded a starting line-up of no less than fifteen internationals, would run away with a bonus-point victory against a Bourgoin side who had lost all six pool games last year.

But in the end the French club were even able to register a losing bonus-point.

The try that separated the sides was scored by Henson in the first half, with Hook kicking 14 points.

Although happy with the win, the Ospreys knew they needed to take all five points from this match - especially after pool rivals Gloucester claimed a bonus point in their away win against Ulster.

It took the Ospreys until only the fourth minute to take the lead with Hook's opening penalty, after Bourgoin infringed at a ruck.

But if the home side thought it was going to be an easy night, Bourgoin soon showed their credentials with some fine running rugby - which almost sent Matthieu Nicolas in at the right corner.

Openside Mark Rennie went close also, but the Ospreys' scramble defence held out.

Despite a break from Marty Holah, in his first Ospreys start, it was mostly Bourgoin in the opening quarter.

It took a half break from Hook to earn a second penalty from a ruck - which he kicked to extend the home lead to 6-0 in the 19th minute.

A fine inside pass from Justin Marshall to Lee Byrne set up the Ospreys' try on 27 minutes, finished off when Shane Williams put Henson over.

Bourgoin got on to the scoreboard with a penalty for replacement centre Sebastien Laloo as a result of Ospreys captain Filo Tiatia being sin-binned for an illegal tackle.

That was cancelled out by Hook's third penalty in the 38th minute.

But Bourgoin had the final say of the half when Laloo found the target with his second penalty in injury time, as the Ospreys led at the interval 16-6.

With the Ospreys still down to 14 men after the break, Bourgoin took advantage as Benjamin Boyet kicked a 43rd-minute penalty - which was cancelled out three minutes later by Hook's fourth penalty.

Bourgoin thought they had their first try when wing Jean-Francois Coux went in at the left corner - but on the intervention of the TMO, the score was disallowed.

Hook and Boyet swapped penalties again as the Ospreys led 22-12 after 64 minutes.

But Boyet slotted his third penalty to confirm a bonus point for Bourgoin.

The scorers:

For the Ospreys:

Try: Henson

Con: Hook

Pens: Hook 5

For Bourgoin:

Pens: Laloo 2, Boyet 3

Ospreys: 15 Lee Byrne, 14 Nikki Walker, 13 Sonny Parker, 12 Gavin Henson, 11 Shane Williams, 10 James Hook, 9 Justin Marshall, 8 Filo Tiatia (c), 7 Marty Holah, 6 Alun Wyn Jones, 5 Ian Evans, 4 Ian Gough, 3 Adam Jones, 2 Huw Bennett, 1 Duncan Jones.

Replacements: 16 Richard Hibbard, 17 Paul James, 18 Hale T-Pole, 19 Ben Lewis, 20 Mike Phillips, 21 Shaun Connor, 22 Andrew Bishop.

Bourgoin 15 Anthony Forest, 14 Matthieu Nicolas, 13 Rudi Coetzee, 12 Yann David, 11 Jean-François Coux, 10 Benjamin Boyet, 9 Mickaël Forest, 8 Wessel Jooste, 7 Mark Rennie, 6 Brice Monzeglio, 5 Bryce Williams, 4 Julien Pierre (c), 3 Olivier Sourgens, 2 Benoit Cabello, 1 Arnaud Tchougong.

Replacements: 16 Jean-Philippe Genevois, 17 Karena Wihongi, 18 Chris Wyatt, 19 Julien Frier, 20 Morgan Parra, 21 Sebastian Laloo, 22 David Janin.

Referee: David Pearson (England)

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