With the Magners League taking its regular October break for European fixtures, the Ospreys coaches will take satisfaction from stats that show their team boasting the most potent attack and meanest defence in the competition.
Five games into the season, the Ospreys have overcome the ever-present issues around the reintegration of international players and managing game-time for players, and although the team is still on an upward curve in terms of form, the statistics show that the ‘Ospreys way’ is producing attacking and effective rugby.
According to the latest stats, the Ospreys sit at the top of the try scoring table with 16 tries from five games and, interestingly, of the twelve teams in the Magners League, are the least reliant on kicks for their points, with just 37 per cent of their 127 points so far coming from the boot.
The figures are just as impressive from a defensive point of view, with the Ospreys line being breached just four times, and not at all in the last 197 minutes of Magners League rugby – again, the best record in the tournament.
According to Elite Performance Director, Andrew Hore, the stats make pleasing reading at this early stage of the competition.
“While it’s true to say that nothing is won or lost by the first week of October, these figures do make pleasing reading for the coaches. We’ve worked hard here over the last few seasons to create a real identity, a style of rugby that would excite the fans and deliver success, and we saw it coming together towards the end of last season in the way the players approached a difficult run-in towards the Magners League Grand Final.
“The issues we have with reintegrating players after international duty in the summer are well documented, but we believe that with the squad we have here and the approach we take to the issue, we have the mix just about right. What is particularly pleasing is that despite these issues, our culture and style is becoming ingrained in the players so that whoever pulls on the black jersey knows what is expected of them.
“If we’re talking about the ‘Ospreys Way’, it’s important to recognise the importance we’ve placed on getting the balance of the coaching team right. In Johnno we’ve got someone recognised as a world leading attack coach, an innovative thinker who approaches that side of the game from a unique angle.
“To complement that, you can’t underestimate that job done by Sean Holley in developing and implementing the defence system that we use here. Both Sean and Jonathan Humphreys put in place a lot of the culture and systems that we use during their season in joint charge. As a coaching team, Scott, Sean and Jonathan, backed by people like Gruff Rees and Filo Tiatia, have really helped to create an identifiable ‘Ospreys Way’ and they deserve credit for that.
“There’s a long way to go this season, a lot of rugby to be played and plenty of improvements needed to our all round game, but it’s obviously very pleasing to see that the hard work being put in is clearly impacting on performance, week in, week out.”