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Toby Booth Full Of Praise For Ospreys After Euro Mission Accomplished

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By David Williams

Ospreys head coach Toby Booth praised his players for wising up and winning a place in the last 16 of the European Challenge Cup.

Full-back Iestyn Hopkins’ two tries helped the Ospreys to a 25-3 win over Perpignan to book a place in the knockout stages of the tournament.

Newcastle Falcons’ 57-18 defeat at home to Benetton not only saw them exit the competition but ensured Ospreys’ progress.

Booth said: “We were probably a little naïve in the first half and we talked at half-time about being a little smarter and things we could do differently.

“The great thing was as a team as they always do, they listened, found a way and executed that well.

“We dictated the tempo of the game in the second half and big players made key decisions and we saw some nice tries.

“We were looking for the bonus point but we have managed to qualify.”

Wing Keelan Giles also scored for the Ospreys with fly-half Dan Edwards kicking 10 points for the Welsh club, who lost Wales hooker Dewi Lake to injury just five minutes in.

Newcastle’s Argentina prop Eduardo Bello crossed for the hosts in the first half as the Falcons, looking to end a 13-match losing streak in all competitions, took an early 10-0 lead against Benetton.

However, the Italian side hit back to establish a 22-13 advantage at half-time thanks to tries from Tomas Albornoz, Onisi Ratave and Tommaso Menoncello.

Murray McCallum added another score for Newcastle after the break but Benetton, who move top of Pool 2, ran in further tries from Ratave, Ignacio Mendy, Menoncello, Alessandro Izekor and Jacob Umaga to secure a convincing win.

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