Belfast Telegraph

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Connacht get their wings clipped by Ospreys

Ospreys 39-10 Connacht

Ospreys celebrated a bonus point 39-10 victory over Connacht in their Guinness PRO14 clash at the Liberty Stadium to keep alive hopes of qualifying for the European Champions Cup.

Ospreys' five tries came from wing Jeff Hassler, full-back Dan Evans, hooker Scott Otten, centre Ashley Beck and wing Hanno Dirksen, with Dan Biggar kicking 14 points.

Connacht's points came from a try and conversion for replacement Craig Donaldson, plus a Jack Carty penalty.

Ospreys made two enforced changes with Guy Mercer and James King coming in for Olly Cracknell and Justin Tipuric.

Cracknell has been ruled out by a shoulder injury while Wales flanker Tipuric is away at the Commonwealth Games with Wales Sevens.

Connacht made five changes from the forward pack that started their European Challenge Cup defeat by Gloucester with prop Denis Buckley the only member of the front-five to retain his place. Ireland international centre Bundee Aki was among the other absentees for Connacht.

Biggar, who made his final appearance in front of an 8,000 crowd at the Liberty Stadium before joining Northampton Saints at the end of the season, said it was "a little bit strange" playing his last home game after "a great 10 years" at the Liberty.

"The stadium has been so good to me... it's been the best place for me to play rugby and the fans have always stuck by us," he said.

"It's going to be very sad not coming here any more to play," he said.

"I hope in time I can come back and do a little bit more for the region."

Today's fixtures: Leinster v Zebre, Cheetahs v Cardiff Blues ( both 2pm), Scarlets v Glasgow (4.15pm), Benetton v Dragons (5pm), Southern Kings v Munster (6.35pm).

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