Ospreys 19-16 Bordeaux-Begles: Dan Biggar stars in Welsh regions win as Jean-Baptiste Dubie sees red for the visitors
Ospreys with a man advantage came from behind to win 19-16 against Bordeaux in the European Champions Cup
The visitors had led 13-9 at half-time with Felix Le Bourhis scoring the only try of the opening 40
Jean-Baptiste Dubie’s red card early in the second half swung the game in Ospreys favour
Biggar scored and converted his own try to complete his 19-point haul as the Welsh region edged to a narrow victory
Dan Biggar’s 19-point haul was enough for Ospreys to maintain their lead at the top of Pool 2 in the European Champions Cup with a hard-fought 19-16 win over 14-man Bordeaux-Begles.
In a game both teams needed to win, it was the French outfit that went into the break 13-9 ahead despite three first-half penalties via Dan Biggar.
However, the game swung early in the second half when Jean-Baptiste Dubie was sent-off for a high tackle on Biggar. The Ospreys fly-half then converted his own try to put the hosts ahead.
The French side, who found themselves down to 13 men late on, never gave up and held on for a losing bonus point. Bordeaux’s chances of progression though are now over.
Two Biggar penalties sandwiched around a three-pointer from Bordeaux’s Pierre Bernard gave Osprey’s a 6-3 lead in Swansea after 20 minutes.
The visitors levelled with another penalty before taking the lead on the half-hour as their dominant rolling maul sets up the field position for Felix Le Bourhis to skip inside and score. Alun Wyn-Jones had seen yellow at the Liberty Stadium for going in at the side of a fast-moving maul minutes earlier with the visitors taking advantage immediately, 6-13.
A third penalty kick though from Biggar reduced Bordeaux’s lead to just four points going into the break.
The game shifted early in the second half as Jean-Baptiste Dubie saw red for striking the face of Biggar on 44 minutes. It proved to be a game changer.
With Bordeaux now down to 14-men, Ospreys were attacking constantly and eventually got their reward as man-of-the-match Biggar dived over in the corner after 51 minutes following a strong driving maul.
The number 10 then slotted the difficult touchline conversion to edge his side further in front, 19-13.
Despite being a man down, Romain Lonca knocked over a penalty for the visitors to reduce the deficit to just three points.
However, the French side paid again for their ill-discipline as Jean-Baptiste Poux was sent to the sin bin for pulling down in the lineout. The scores nevertheless stayed the same as the Welsh region held on for the narrow win despite a late resurgence from Bordeaux’s 13-men,.
The scores nevertheless stayed the same as the Welsh region held on for the narrow win despite a late resurgence from Bordeaux’s 13-men, who in the circumstances will be pleased to head back to France with a losing bonus-point.
MAN OF THE MATCH
Ospreys: Dan Biggar
The fly-half controlled everything good about the Ospreys as they edged to victory at the Liberty Stadium, scoring all 19 of the hosts points.
Ospreys: 15 Dan Evans, 14 Hanno Dirksen, 13 Jonathan Spratt, 12 Josh Matavesi, 11 Eli Walker, 10 Dan Biggar, 9 Brendon Leonard, 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 Nicky Smith, 18 Aaron Jarvis, 19 Rory Thornton, 20 Dan Baker, 21 Tom Habberfield, 22 Sam Davies, 23 Ben John.
Bordeaux-Bègles: 15 Jean-Marcellin Buttin, 14 Jean-Baptiste Dubié, 13 Felix Le Bourhis, 12 Charles Brousse, 11 Nans Ducuing, 10 Pierre Bernard, 9 Heini Adams, 8 Marco Tauleigne, 7 Hugh Chalmers, 6 Matthew Clarkin, 5 Adam Jaulhac, 4 Berend Botha, 3 Sekope Kepu, 2 Clement Maynadier, 1 Jefferson Poirot.
Replacements: 16 Ronan Chambord, 17 Jean-Baptiste Poux, 18 Patrick Toetu, 19 Cyril Cazeaux, 20 Louis Madaule, 21 Baptiste Serin, 22 Romain Lonca, 23 Paulin Riva.
Date: Saturday, December 12
Venue: Liberty Stadium
Kick-off: 17:15 GMT
Referee: JP Doyle (England)
Assistant Referees: Greg Garner (England), Paul Burton (England)
TMO: Sean Davey (England)