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Gibbes hails young Ospreys

Ospreys forwards coach Chris Gibbes hailed his young side despite their agonising 18-14 Champions Cup defeat to Racing Metro in Le Mans.

Tries from wings Juan Imhoff and Teddy Thomas, plus five points from Johan Goosen gave the French side a 15-0 half-time lead at the MMArena.

The Ospreys roared back as Rhys Webb and Eli Walker scored tries, converted by Dan Biggar, but Goosen's late penalty killed off their chances.

It leaves the Welsh side's European hopes hanging by a thread, with Racing set to dispute top spot in Pool Five with Aviva Premiership champions Northampton.

But New Zealander Gibbes could find no fault with his players, who defied a 12-strong injury list to push the big-spending Parisians all the way.

"I know we lost the game but that was an incredible effort from the guys and on another day that is a game we may well have won," he said.

"When you are down like we were at half-time you can easily go into your shell but we wanted to play and we believed we could cause them problems if we got that tempo into our game.

"We did that and I thought some of our younger guys really stood up to be counted in that second half and I am so proud of the effort.

"Obviously that makes it very difficult for us in the pool but we will not give up.

"We have two games to go, we are not completely out of it so we will try and win our remaining games and see what that does for us."

Racing have never previously reached the knock-out stages of the top level European competition, but they know a win at Franklin's Gardens next month would guarantee them top spot.

Their Wales centre Jamie Roberts said: "It was a tough game and we didn't expect anything less from the Ospreys. They are a proud side and they were never going to give us a moment's piece.

"It was a lot like last week's game in many ways but this time we managed to close out that final few minutes and get a very important win.

"It sets up two very big games for us next month and I am sure everyone is going to have one eye on that Northampton game which will be a big test.

"But we'll enjoy this win and hope to build on it when we get back into the Top 14."


From Belfast Telegraph