Ospreys claimed two losing bonus points in their defeat against Bordeaux-Begles
Tries from Julien Rey, Berend Botha and Sofiane Guitoune gave Bordeaux a commanding 25-10 half-time lead
But Eli Walker, Alun Wyn Jones and Dan Biggar added to Justin Tipuric’s first-half score to make it 30-27
Yann Lesgourgues’s try had given Bordeaux a bonus point and Baptiste Serin’s penalty made sure of victory
Ospreys launched a stunning late fightback to pick up two bonus points as they lost 33-27 against Bordeaux-Begles at Stade Andre Moga.
Julien Rey opened the scoring for Bordeaux before Justin Tipuric hit back, Dan Biggar with the goal, ahead of unanswered tries from Berend Botha and Sofiane Guitoune for Bordeaux, Pierre Bernard with one conversion on top of two earlier penalties.
Biggar replied late on with a penalty of his own to make it a 25-10 deficit at the break. Eli Walker hit back shortly after the restart, but a Yann Lesgourgues try seemed the end the game as a contest.
However, tries from Alun-Wyn Jones and Biggar, who converted his own try, put Ospreys within three points, but it wasn’t enough as Baptiste Serin added a late penalty to round off a remarkable afternoon in southwest France.
With Ospreys sitting top of Pool Two, nine points ahead of bottom-placed Bordeaux, the visitors suffered the worst possible start as home centre Rey darted over within a minute of kick off.
But Tipuric’s try, converted by RUCK Man of the Match Biggar, turned the scoreboard around and Ospreys led 7-5 after a frantic first three minutes.
Defence then got on top and Bernard’s first penalty was the only further score, before Botha found his way over the line on 19 minutes.
That left the hosts 13-7 up but they nudged further ahead on the half hour mark as, after a Bernard penalty on 24 minutes, Guitoune slipped through the defence for The Girondists’ third try of the game.
Bernard added the two, leaving Bordeaux 25-7 up, before Biggar handed the visitors a glimmer of hope with penalty just before half time which leave his side 15 points down.
The home side remained steely in defence, but Walker finally breached the home line on 51 minutes to haul his side to within striking distance of their hosts.
At ten points down, the usually vocal 20,000-strong home crowd began to fall silent as Ospreys’ ferocious appetite for hard work came to the fore, but, arguably against the run of play, Lesgourgues stole in to give Raphaël Ibañez’ men some breathing space.
But that didn’t diminish the sheer spirit of Steve Tandy’s men as the irrepressible Wyn-Jones, operating at lock, thundered over.
‘Game on’ was suddenly the feeling.
Biggar and co sensed a dramatic turnaround could be on the cards as it was the star fly half who scored next, ripping his way through a gap before racing almost the length of the pitch to go over.
He converted his own spectacular try from in front of the posts, and Ospreys were firmly in the ascendancy, with a just a two-point deficit separating them from what would have been a memorable win.
However, Bordeaux finally found their composure late on, repelling the visitors’ best efforts to hang on for a potentially crucial victory, which sees them move off the bottom of their Pool, as Serin’s late penalty rounded off the scoring of an absorbing contest.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Ospreys: Dan Biggar
UBB: 15 Jean-Marcellin Buttin, 14 Metuisela Talebulamaijaina, 13 Adam Ashley-Cooper, 12 Julien Rey, 11 Sofiane Guitoune, 10 Pierre Bernard, 9 Heini Adams, 8 Marco Tauleigne, 7 Matthew Clarkin, 6 Louis Madaule, 5 Berend Botha, 4 Julien Le Devedec, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Clement Maynadier, 1 Jefferson Poirot.
Replacements: 16 Ole Avei, 17 Steven Kitshoff, 18 Francisco Gomez Kodela, 19 Jan Andre Marais, 20 Loann Goujon, 21 Yann Lesgourgues, 22 Baptiste Serin, 23 Darly Domvo.
Ospreys: 15 Dan Evans, 14 Jeff Hassler, 13 Ben John, 12 Josh Matavesi, 11 Eli Walker, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Tom Habberfield, 8 James King, 7 Justin Tipuric, 6 Dan Lydiate, 5 Alun Wyn Jones (c), 4 Lloyd Ashley, 3 Dmitri Arhip, 2 Scott Baldwin, 1 Paul James.
Replacements: 16 Sam Parry, 17 Ryan Bevington, 18 Aaron Jarvis, 19 Rory Thornton, 20 Dan Baker, 21 Martin Roberts, 22 Sam Davies, 23 Hanno Dirksen.
Date: Saturday, December 19
Venue: Stade Chaban-Delmas
Kick-off: 18:15 local (17:15 GMT)
Referee: Luke Pearce (England)
Assistant Referees: Matthew Carley (England), Peter Allan (England)
TMO: Rowan Kitt (England)