Champions Cup: Toby Booth delighted with Ospreys’ dramatic last-gasp win

Ospreys head coach Toby Booth says his side’s last-gasp win over Leicester Tigers was more dramatic than last week’s thrilling win over Montpellier in the Champions Cup. Credit: Alamy
Ospreys head coach Toby Booth says his side’s last-gasp win over Leicester Tigers was more dramatic than last week’s thrilling win over Montpellier in the Champions Cup. Credit: Alamy

Ospreys head coach Toby Booth says his side’s last-gasp win over Leicester Tigers was more dramatic than last week’s thrilling win over Montpellier in the Champions Cup.

The Welsh side booked their place in the last 16 of the competition after defeating Leicester Tigers 27-26 at Mattioli Woods Welford Road.

Ospreys lost their opening Champions Cup fixture to an understrength Leicester side but have since recorded a double over Top 14 holders Montpellier before reversing the result with Leicester thanks to a conversion by Owen Williams in the 12th minute of over time following a try from Jac Morgan.

Stressful night

Booth was full of praise for his side after the match but admitted that it was a stressful evening.

“I didn’t think the drama of last week’s win could be bettered, but it certainly was,” he said. “Sport is amazing, but it was very stressful tonight, and I wish it could be more straightforward, although I’m delighted to come out on the right side of the result.”

Leicester were the better side for the opening hour of the match and led 20-13. Ospreys were hit with injuries, with Dewi Lake hobbling off with an injury and seen on crutches later, while Cai Evans added to their woes.

Keelan Giles was the catalyst for Ospreys’ remarkable rally in the latter stages after he pounced on a Leicester mistake before the pressure finally told after Ospreys battered at the Tigers’ line for 15 minutes before Morgan crossed for a hotly-disputed try, which was awarded after countless replays.

Leicester scored two tries, with scrum-half Jack van Poortvliet and Harry Simmons dotting down; Handre Pollard converted both and added four penalties.

Lake, Giles and Morgan scored Ospreys’ tries, while Williams kicked two penalties and two conversions, with Evans adding a conversion.

Dewi Lake’s injury

Lake’s injury puts his Six Nations for Wales in serious doubt, but Booth is hopeful that he recovers quickly.

“When the draw was made, there was a very sharp intake of breath, and most people would have thought that the later rounds in April and May wouldn’t concern us,” he said.

“The final try was not clear-cut, but I thought Keiran’s (Williams) try just before was much clearer and should have been awarded.

“Dewi (Lake) is a tough cookie and doesn’t leave the field easily. He bent his knee backwards and is on crutches, so all we can do is hope he recovers quickly.”

Disappointment for Leicester

Interim Leicester head coach Richard Wigglesworth was disappointed with the defeat but pleased to reach the knockout stages.

He said: “We are desperately disappointed as the defeat was by our own making as we opened the door for them, and they are a good side in great form.

“We produced some good stuff out there, but we couldn’t quite finish it off, and the disappointment will certainly linger.

“I didn’t see any grounding for their winning try, but I would say it wasn’t a score, and they obviously would say otherwise.

“We are through to the knockout stages, and we would have taken that outcome before the competition started.”

Leicester scrum-half van Poortvliet added: “We gifted them a lot of points as we were loose in attack, and ill-discipline really cost us.”

READ MORE: Five takeaways from Leicester Tigers v Ospreys as Jac Morgan sends message to Wales head coach Warren Gatland

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