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Dan Biggar hails Ospreys' bravery

Dan Biggar hailed the bravery of the Ospreys as the Welsh region picked up two valuable bonus points despite losing 34-29 at Clermont Auvergne in Pool 2 of the Champions Cup.

Clermont have now won 18 straight European games at their Stade Marcel-Michelin fortress, after a brace of thrilling tries from wing David Strettle plus further scores from Aurelien Rougerie and Wesley Fofana gave them a full five-point haul to start their campaign.

But the Ospreys, who had only one win and a draw to show from their previous 17 away games in this competition, twice rallied from 17-point margins to score four tries and eventually lose by a margin of less than seven to raise hopes of a first quarter-final appearances since 2010.

"I thought we showed a tremendous amount of bravery out there," said Wales fly-half Biggar, who kicked nine points as his side held on to top spot in the standings.

"We knew coming here that it would not be enough to just play for penalties and drop goals. We had to be positive, we had to be confident enough to play and try and put them under pressure.

"We did that but they stood tall towards the end of that first half and we could easily have let things slide away there.

"But we knew we had to keep playing our game and chance our arm. It if had ended with us losing by 40 points then at least we would know we had given it a go.

"We managed to get the balance right and took our chances well. We could have dropped our heads and it is a huge testament to our spirit that we finished those chances at the end.

"To come away from one of the most difficult place to play in Europe with two points is like a win for us, really."

Clermont had had to wait for their campaign to get under way as their opening game against Bordeaux-Begles was postponed in the wake of the Paris terror attacks, but coach Franck Azema was happy with their start.

He said: "For sure there are things for us to work on but a bonus-point win is the perfect way for us to start this campaign and we scored some good tries.

"We would rather not have let them get the two points at the end, but we can now look towards two important games against Exeter next month."


From Belfast Telegraph