The Ospreys took control of Challenge Cup Pool 2 with a bonus point win at Matmut Stadium, to make it 10 points from the first two rounds following last week’s maximum against Newcastle.
- Ospreys score two tries in each half to secure a bonus point win, their first victory in France since 2008
- Keelan Giles scores a hat-trick before Sam Parry touches down in the final minutes
- With two bonus point wins in the two opening rounds the Ospreys have secured a maximum haul and sit at the top of Pool 2 ahead of the December double header against Grenoble
- PRO12 returns next weekend when Newport Gwent Dragons visit the Liberty Stadium
Teenage winger Keelan Giles ran in an incredible hat-trick to make it six tries in three games for the Waunarlwydd youngster, while Sam Parry touched down for his fifth of the season.
It was a historic win for the region, their first in France since a 2008 success against Bourgoin, as they took their try tally for the season to 43 in eight games across the PRO12 and Challenge Cup.
The early exchanges very much set the tone for the contest, Lyon enjoying possession and territory but not getting any change from a resolute Ospreys defence, and it was the visitors who got the first posts, Sam Davies with a penalty on eight minutes, from a central position on the 10m line.
Lyon threatened from the restart, turning the Ospreys over inside their own 22 allowing Jacques-Louis Potgieter to put in a weighted kick behind the defence, Davies just beating Paul Bonnefond to touch down for a dropout.
The first try came in the 16th minute and it was a stunning team effort, Josh Matavesi and Davies combining to carry the Ospreys from inside their own 22 up to halfway. The move was continued, swinging the ball from left to right, James King punching through the defensive line, before Giles collected out on the touchline, finishing it in style. The conversion from Davies was good and the Ospreys led by 10.
Back came Lyon, a Jonathan Spratt high tackle on halfway allowing them to go to the corner. The lineout drive was well defended, forcing Lyon wide where a double hit from Giles and Dan Evans forced a knock on from Sami Mavinga with the line beckoning.
The hosts first points came from the boot of Potgieter following a scrum penalty, but with half an hour on the clock the Ospreys struck again.
Rory Thornton secured clean ball at the lineout allowing the Ospreys to move it wide at pace. Giles had no right to score when he collected the ball from he took the pass from Dan Evans on the 10m line, but he showed great feet to get away from the defenders and go all the way, touching down under the posts, Davies converting.
The final minutes of the half saw Lyon pounding on the Ospreys line, a knock-on by Maselino Paulino just short allowing Davies to clear from the scrum.
It was run straight back and once again they pounded on the line without looking likely to get anything. Potgieter opted for a chip over defensive line, only to see the ball bounced twice on the crossbar before falling back into Lyon hands.
They kept up the pressure, moving it wide again only for Giles to put Henry Clunies-Ross and ball into touch, bringing the first half to an end.
HALF-TIME: LYON 3 OSPREYS 17
The second half began as the first ended, with Lyon pressing but the Ospreys defence looking rock solid.
It was Giles who won the turnover inside the Ospreys 22, stripping the ball in the tackle and racing upfield to score in the corner. Davies converted from touchline and the scoreboard now read 3-24 just seven minutes into the second half.
The contest continued in the same fashion, the Ospreys soaking up Lyon pressure with ease and they almost grabbed a fourth when they won turnover ball on halfway. A quick ball was dinked behind the Lyon defence for Dafydd Howells to chase, he was unable to collect cleanly as he looked to gather and go over the line, knocking on but, instead of a Lyon scrum on the line, the referee went upstairs for an offence in the build-up, resulting in Matavesi being shown a yellow card for a high tackle.
With the extra man, Lyon upped the ante and got their first try on an hour, Curtis Browning touching down at the back of a pushover for a score that went unconverted.
Back came the Ospreys just four minutes later, ignoring the easiest of kicks to go to the corner in search of a fourth. The maul was stopped inches short, and as it was recycled, Rory Thornton tried to reach over the bodies to ground it, only for the try to be ruled out by the TMO who confirmed a knock on.
There was a similar outcome minutes later, the rolling maul again stopped short before Olly Cracknell knocked on going for the line, but it was third time lucky in the 77th minute as Parry was able to sneak up the blindside for the bonus point clincher, converted by Davies.
The result was in the bag but Lyon gained a late consolation, Franck Romanet going over in the corner in the final play, the conversion missed to leave the score 13-31.
With the Challenge Cup now parked up until the Grenoble double header in December, the Ospreys’ focus now switches to a Guinness PRO12 derby against the Dragons at the Liberty Stadium next Saturday afternoon.