Skipper Tyler Ardron has praised the Ospreys spirit that shone through in last Friday’s PRO12 draw with Leinster and has urged the team to go one better against Munster this weekend.
The Ospreys were forced to settle for a share of the spoils after Jimmy Gopperth’s late penalty and, despite the obvious disappointment at the final whistle, the all-action Canadian refused to be downbeat when he spoke post-match.
“I wouldn’t like to think of it as two points dropped, no matter how disappointed we were at the final whistle” said Ardron.
“I think that last scrum epitomises everything about our spirit and what we want to do here. I really thought we deserved something out of that set piece. We were unfortunate, I feel, not to get more out of that than we did, but the guys gave everything they had right until the very last whistle and that’s what you expect of anyone wearing an Ospreys shirt.
“We deserved the win but it wasn’t to be. We picked up two points though and we’ll take that into Munster on Saturday and go for it again.”
The Ospreys struggled to get going in a first half that saw them trailing 6-0 until the final play of the opening 40, Sam Davies’ penalty getting the scoreboard moving just before the break, but an improved second half showing saw them take the lead within 15 minutes of the restart, a lead they held until the last minute.
“It was frustrating in the first half” admitted Ardron.
“I thought that we were constantly going backwards. We battled, we dug in, and to come out like we did at the start of the second half shows what we’re all about and how much we wanted to win this.
“We did our homework and we knew that they would be a good, attacking team. Comfort is the word we used and I thought we were comfortable the whole time they were pressing our line. There were a few decisions that went against us cost us in the end and that was disappointing.”
The Ospreys need to bounce back in emphatic fashion this weekend when Munster, who moved to the top of the PRO12 table on Saturday with a convincing bonus point win over Glasgow, visit the Liberty Stadium on Saturday afternoon (2.40pm KO). Ardron said that it will be all about the quality of the preparation this week, and ensuring the crowd plays their part on match day:
“Obviously we’re a little bit disappointed that we aren’t a little bit better set up going into the game in terms of the table, we probably expected to be a little bit better off. There’s nothing we can do about that now, it’s in the past. We’ve got to look forward positively, do our homework on Munster and focus on getting a good performance. If we do that, the result should follow.
“The crowd helped us huge on Friday night, you could just feel the atmosphere building as we were building pressure. I feel we gave them something to feed off and in turn, they gave us something back. We’ll need then again on Saturday because it won’t be easy.”