Dan Biggar has challenged the Ospreys to turn what he describes as a “decent start” to the new campaign into something more substantial.
They sit unbeaten in fourth place after beginning the season with a victory in Treviso on the opening weekend before Biggar’s last gasp penalty secured a share of the spoils in Dublin on Saturday, a classic contest against Leinster ending all-square at 29-apiece.
With the Ospreys returning to the Liberty Stadium this weekend for the first home game of the new PRO12 campaign when they entertain Edinburgh on Saturday evening (KO 6.30pm), Biggar has stressed the importance of building on the work done on the road over the last two weeks.
“We always knew that starting the season with away games at two of the toughest places to go in the league would make for a difficult couple of weeks so we are obviously very pleased to come through them undefeated with a win and what was an excellent draw at the weekend.
“To come home this weekend now and hopefully put on a good performance for our fans against Edinburgh is important.
“At the minute we can describe it as a decent start to the season. I don’t think we can overboard and say it’s been anything other than that. If we can get a good performance under our belt on Saturday in what will be another difficult game, then we can maybe start to think of it as something better, but at the moment, it’s just a decent start and there’s plenty of room to improve.”
Biggar is well aware of the challenge offered by the Scots, who will bring to the Liberty two of the league’s deadliest finishers in Tim Visser and former Osprey Nikki Walker, and he acknowledged that the team will have to be at their very best if they are to continue their unbeaten start.
“Edinburgh will come here and have a crack, we know that” said Biggar.
“They’ve got some real threats, particularly in the wingers who we know all about. We’re well aware how dangerous they can be if they get half an opportunity.
“If we can keep them quiet and get our own performance right then who knows what can happen? It’s about building our performance, building a score on the night, and turning a good performance into a winning one. We’ve had a decent start, like I said, but unless we back it up on Saturday then that’s all it will be, a decent start.”
Biggar paid tribute to the squad depth at the Ospreys these days, hailing some of the unsung heroes who have played a big part in the opening weeks of the season. He said:
“The boys in the squad have done brilliantly over the first few weeks. It’s just about some of the boys coming into the team growing the confidence and belief that comes with playing regularly and starting to feel that they belong in the team.
“We’ve got the Lions coming back in this week but people like Ben John, James King, they’ve been exceptional. We are fortunate to look at Justin Tipuric still to come in yet Sam Lewis has been probably our best player so far this season. He’s been outstanding the first couple of games.
“It’s really healthy that there’s competition for places and it’s only going to benefit us over the season as we know that when boys are away for international periods we can still go to tough places and grind out results when it matters.”
Biggar, who moved to second place in the all-time Celtic League scoring charts on the first weekend of the season and needs just 27 to reach the 1,000 point landmark in the competition, was impressed by the atmosphere generated by an 18,000 plus crowd at the RDS on Saturday night, highlighting how important the supporters can be to the cause on a matchday.
“It makes a heck of a difference” he insisted.
“If Leinster didn’t have that crowd at the weekend I think we could have gone on and won that game fairly comfortably. They gave them a real lift in that last 10 or 12 minutes when they were up against it with a man in the bin and kept them going strong.
“That’s what we want, we want as many people as possible in the stadium to make it as enjoyable as possible for players and spectators. We enjoy playing in front of big crowds, especially at the Liberty when they are behind the team. Hopefully we can get a big crowd there on Saturday to help us turn a decent start into a good one.”
Tickets for Saturday’s game are on sale now at the Liberty Stadium Ticket Office, online at www.ospreysrugby.com/buytickets, or via the Ticket Hotline on 0844 815 6665, with prices starting from £20 (adults), with child tickets costing just £5.
Alternatively, season memberships are still available with adult prices starting from the incredible price of just £185, which gives you access to all home regular season RaboDirect PRO12 games, along with Heineken Cup and LV= Cup pool matches – that’s 16 games throughout the season at £11.56 per match – and up to two kids can go free with all paying members. Make sure you call or visit the Ticket Office ahead of kick-off on Saturday to take advantage of this great deal.