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Holley: "It's a special night"

By Ospreys Rugby | 29/05/2010

Head Coach Sean Holley is delighted as Ospreys make it four trophies in seven years.

Speaking to the media after the region's historic first ever win at the RDS, Holley said:

"The occasion tonight was fabulous. These players are used to playing in front of big crowds and they respond to it. As a spectacle, it was fantastic tonight. The play-off system has worked really well, ourselves and Leinster lose a lot of players in the international windows and with two Italian teams coming in that will have more of an impact again. The play-offs gives us an opportunity to really push for it. It was fitting for us to have to come here and win, so we're delighted.

"As somebody who has been to every single Ospreys game, this is pretty much up there, I can tell you. It's a special night. I wouldn't say it was our best performance, but it was certainly one of our most courageous and determined.

"We went out to score tries, to try and win it. There's not a lot of teams come here and score tries against Leinster, and to score two in the first half just gave us a bit more belief that we could push on and win it.

"We tried to lose it I think in the second half, by giving away penalties, but our defensive effort was outstanding.

"We had a game plan and a strategy. Some times it comes off, some times it doesn't. We just felt that we could get through on a short pass in midfield, a move which resulted in our first try, and then it was a great finish by Lee for the second try down the short side which again, was something that we spotted and worked on.

"We can score tries, it doesn't always come off and it hasn't happened in every game this season, we've bombed chances at times, but we took the two important chances tonight.

"We've had a lot of experience of Leinster, and we've been cut a lot by them. Even though we know what's coming it can still be difficult to defend against so I'm particularly proud of our midfield tonight. James Hook is playing with a shoulder injury, he's having an operation on Wednesday, and Andrew Bishop has just been superb for this season and he was outstanding tonight. He's not a 'fashionable player', he's not somebody that every looks at, he hasn't got the fancy touches or the fake tan, he doesn't talk much, but he's a tough kid from up the valleys. Tonight he showed that he's not just a defensive centre, he's a ball carrier, he can beat people and he can make tries.

"I think Dan Biggar is the form outside half in the Magners League. He's been pushed through last season by Jonathan and myself. We made a brave decision to play James at 12, Scott's come in this season and given us the confidence to push on with that decision and it's seen us flourish. Daniel was tactically superb tonight and he's been like that all season. For a young man, he demands the respect of not only his team-mates but also the opposition. He's been one of the players of the season for us.

"Without wanting to sound cocky, we do feel that we've got what we deserved, we've played some good rugby this year and we've worked really hard as a group. That's four trophies in seven years, it's not a bad strike rate. We get very little credit for it, we're seen as something that we think we're not. In adversity, some times the character comes out and that's what you've seen with the Ospreys this year.

"You can't just turn up and win Europe every year. It's a tough competition with some bloody good teams in it. This is getting harder to win every year and I keep saying, the teams that are winning the Heineken Cup, or getting to the semi-finals are the same teams. It's Toulouse, Munster, Leicester, Leinster, Biarritz. It takes a bit of time but we are getting there. It's not for the want of trying, but we are getting there."

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