The Ospreys players celebrate their victory in Montpellier. Pic: Getty Images.

Toby Booth Praises Ospreys’ Efforts After European Failures Finally Overturned In France

By Paul Jones

Ospreys head coach Toby Booth praised his team after their first win in Europe for two years – but insisted it was just reward for their recent efforts.

The Swansea-based region shocked TOP 14 champions Montpellier in France with tries from Sam Parry, Kieran Williams and Morgan Morris, and produced an immense defensive effort to restrict the hosts to just one score in their Heineken Champions Cup clash.

Brandon Paenga-Amosa crossed for Montpellier, who were ultimately outfought and outclassed on their own turf.

“I’m pleased for the boys and supporters because there’s been a lot of toil of effort and to get the right side of the result and positivity around that, nothing reinforces that more than winning,” said Booth.

“There was an arm wrestle, it was very difficult but it was a team defence and an attitude of we’re not going to give you anything for free. People performed tonight.

“We worked very hard in the week, we’ll enjoy it for what it is but to get momentum and a performance back is important.”

Fly-half Louis Carbonel opened the scoring with a penalty for Montpellier on four minutes, and the French side would have expected to push on from there.


But the Ospreys proved stern opposition, defending resolutely before hooker Parry crashed over on 20 minutes amid a driving maul.

An extended period of pressure prior to that score also saw Montpellier lock Florian Verhaeghe yellow-carded, and though there was no further score during that 10 minutes, the Ospreys crossed again moments after as centre Williams picked his way through with a great finish.

The Ospreys looked to have handed Montpellier a route back into the game as wing Luke Morgan was sin-binned for taking out the French side’s No.8 Zach Mercer in the air on 33 minutes.

But the visitors reached the break without conceding, a series of tremendous defensive efforts seeing Montpellier come up empty-handed.

More top defensive work saw the Ospreys survive the remainder of Luke Morgan’s sin bin, but Montpellier finally found a way through on 56 minutes as hooker Paenga-Amosa dotted following a maul.


Carbonel’s conversion cut the gap to four points, but the Ospreys would notch a third try six minutes later as lock Adam Beard’s miss-pass picked out No.8 Morris, who crashed through the contact and over.

And the visitors almost snatched a bonus-point try when wing Alex Cuthbert looked to have finished brilliantly in the corner, but a lengthy TMO review revealed that he had a toe in touch.

More colossal defence followed as the Ospreys closed the game out and stylishly ended an 11-game winless run in the competition, bouncing back from their round one defeat at home to Leicester Tigers.

Montpellier and the Ospreys clash again in round three, with the Welsh region welcoming their French opponents to the Stadium on January 14.

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