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Pau ready for ‘big match’ against Ospreys

Thursday 11th October 2018

12:34 pm (GMT)

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Pau ready for ‘big match’ against Ospreys

Ospreys' George North won the Challenge Cup in 2014 with his former club, Northampton Saints.

After a season in the Champions Cup, Ospreys return to the Challenge Cup and begin their campaign at home to French side, Pau, at the Liberty Stadium in Swansea on Saturday (15:00 BST).

  • Ospreys and Pau have never met before and this will be Ospreys’ second campaign in the Challenge Cup in three seasons.
  • In 2016/17 Ospreys won six of six pool stage games, scoring 279 points and conceding just 51.
  • Pau were one of just three sides to record a success rate of 90% or better at both scrum (92%) and lineout (90%) in the Challenge Cup last season (also Toulouse and Lyon).
  • Ospreys (90%) boasted the best goal kicking success rate in the Champions Cup last season, slotting 26 of their 29 place kicks.
  • Dan Evans was the joint top try scorer in last season’s Champions Cup (6, level with Nemani Nadolo), crossing for a brace of tries in each of the Ospreys’ opening three games.

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Hook inspires Ospreys to easy win

Saturday 13th October 2018

5:48 pm (GMT)

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Hook inspires Ospreys to easy win

Veteran Ospreys full-back James Hook, who scored 10 points against Pau

Evergreen full-back James Hook rolled back the years to inspire Ospreys to a home whitewash of Pau in their European Rugby Challenge Cup Pool 2 opener on Saturday.

The 33-year-old Welsh international, who has 81 Tests to his name, notched 10 points through a try – his 18th for the region – a conversion and a penalty in the clubs’ first meeting to walk off with the man-of-the-match award.

He spearheaded the four-try, bonus-point success by touching down after only six minutes for a try converted by fly-half Sam Davies and with Hook kicking a 36th minute penalty, Ospreys led 10-0 at the break.

The Welsh region registered three more tries in the second half – from wings George North and Luke Morgan, and replacement Harri Morgan, who thus became the first Ospreys try-scorer born this century.

Only one try was converted after the interval – by Hook of course – but it mattered little as Ospreys had banked the five points they wanted.

Now it is a trip to Worcester Warriors on the agenda for the Welsh region next Saturday, while Pau host TOP 14 rivals Stade Francais Paris.

 

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