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Last Updated: Friday, 16 January, 2004, 21:23 GMT
Ospreys 11-29 Toulouse
HEINEKEN CUP POOL TWO
Ospreys flanker Gavin Thomas is wrapped up by the Toulouse defence
Ospreys (6) 11
Try: Henson
Pens: Henson (2)
Toulouse (29) 29
Treis: Clerc (2), Baby
Cons: Michalak (3)
Drop-goal: Delaigue
Att: 4,378
The Ospreys remain pointless and rooted to the bottom of Pool Two after falling to a fourth successive defeat.

Toulouse did all the damage with four first-half tries, with winger Vincent Clerc crossing for a hat-trick.

Benoit Baby, the architect of two of Clerc's efforts, capped an impressive display with a try of his own.

The Ospreys battled hard to break the French defence in the second half, but had to settle for Gavin Henson's try which added to his earlier penalties.

The reigning Heineken Cup champions showed their attacking intent from the start as they ran the ball from deep at every opportunity.

And so it came as no surprise when Clerc crossed for the game's first try inside the opening five minutes.

Centre Baby rescued a loose ball in midfield on the halfway mark and burst through the sloppy home defence.

Our errors turned into devastating tries
Ospreys captain Scott Gibbs
His long pass reached Clerc on the left wing and he a plenty of pace and power to brush off opposite winger Stefan Terblanche. Frederic Michalak converted.

Fly-half Yann Delaigue added an improvised five minutes later before Ospreys opened their account through two sweetly struck long-range Henson penalties.

But the classy French backs soon combined again with devastating effect to extend their lead.

It was the same combination which punished the Ospreys as Baby made another break and fed Clerc in a carbon copy of his earlier score. Michalak converted.

Five minutes before half-time, Baby completed a memorable l first half when he crossed over in the right corner for Toulouse's third.

But the Frenchmen were not finished as Clerc found enough time to put the finishing touch to the best move of the half and seal his hat-tick.

We haven't hit the form of last year yet
Toulouse flanker Trevor Brennan
That score, converted by Michalak for a 6-29 margin, secured a bonus point and gave the Ospreys a second-half mountain to climb.

The home side certainly tested the Toulouse defence to the limit in their opening salvo after the break as they went through 13 phases in the visitors' half.

But Toulouse stood firm and eventually secured the ball through an Ospreys knock-on.

The Ospreys, though, kept knocking at the door and a break from Shane Williams and Gavin Henson almost brought that elusive try.

It finally arrived just before the hour mark as Henson displayed guile and strength to hand off two would-be Toulouse tacklers to score in the right corner.

Toulouse were lucky not to concede another try when Dave Tiueti's seemingly legitimate score was ruled out by the referee.


Ospreys: A Durston; S Terblanche, E Seveali'l, S Gibbs (capt), S Williams; G Henson, A Williams; D Jones, H Bennett, A Jones, A Newman, G Llewellyn, J Thomas, Gavin Thomas, N Bonner-Evans.
Replacements: B Williams, A Millward, S Tandy, J Bater, D Tiueti, J Storey.

Toulouse: N Jeanjean; E Ntamack (capt), C Desbrosse, B Baby, V Clerc; Y Delaigue, F Michalak; P Collazo, W Servat, J Poux, D Gerard, T Brennan, J Bouilhou, F Maka, C Labit Replacements: B Lecouls, Y Bru, R Millochlusky, I Maka, J Elissalde, C Heymans, C Poitrenaud.

Referee: Chris White (England).




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