The European Rugby Champions Cup returns to the Liberty Stadium this weekend with the visit of French giants, and current T14 champions, Clermont Auvergne in Round 1 (Sunday, 5.30pm KO).
The famous club from the Massif Central will visit Ospreylia for a third time and are still looking for a first victory at the Liberty following defeats in 2005/06, 2009/10 and as recently as January last year.
Clermont defeated Toulon 22-16 at Stade de France in June to clinch the T14 title, their second championship success, having lost 28-17 to Saracens the previous month in the Champions Cup Final at Murrayfield, finishing runners-up for the third time in five seasons.
Their pedigree is unquestionable but their start to the current campaign has been indifferent and they currently sit down in ninth position in the T14 table with three wins from seven games to date.
At the weekend they lost 28-18 away to Stade Francais, who moved level on points with them but remain one place behind in 10th spot. The previous weekend saw them defeated on the road again, 29-23 to Castres, with their last win coming three weekends ago, a narrow 23-21 defeat of Racing Metro at Stade Marcel Michelin.
Les Jaunards are still looking for their first away win of the campaign, having also lost on the road in the T14 to La Rochelle (51-20) and Bordeaux Begles (32-25), the two other wins coming at home against Toulon (21-16) and Brive (62-6).
CLERMONT AUVERGNE AT THE LIBERTY
Ospreys 26 Clermont Auvergne 12
Saturday 14th January
Adrian Cashmore, kicked 16 points and Richard Mustoe and Stefan Terblanche crossed for a try apiece as the Ospreys recorded a second win against French opposition of the season
Ospreys 25 Clermont Auvergne 24
Sunday 18th October 2009
Having raced into an 18 point lead over Leicester in the opening fixture a week earlier, only to have to settle for a 32-32 draw at Welford Road, the Ospreys were involved in another thriller, once again defeating the team that would go on and win that season’s French league.
This time, tries from Tommy Bowe, Ryan Jones and Barry Davies sent the Ospreys in at the break holding a 22-3 lead, only for Clermont to come roaring back into the lead in the final quarter, a penalty from Biggar securing the win.
Both teams would go through from this group at the expense of Leicester.
Ospreys 21 Clermont Auvergne 13
Friday 15th January 2016
The Ospreys came from behind to claim another famous victory over Clermont that kept alive hopes of progression to the knockout stages.
Trailing 7-0 inside as many minutes and 13-6 at the interval but a performance full of character and determination saw the Ospreys dig in, taking the lead with just 13 minutes remaining before eventually denying their opponents even the consolation of a losing bonus point.
Dan Biggar slotted two early penalty kicks before going off injured shorty after the break. His replacement, Sam Davies, guided the Ospreys home with four penalties and a drop goal.