With the Ospreys set for a do-or-die 80 minutes in Italy on Friday night when they face Aironi in a must-win Magners League clash, Dan Biggar says that the team must take the second chance that they've been handed to reach the end of season play-offs.
Speaking ahead of the crunch match at Stadio Luigi Zaffanella, Biggar said:
It's a second chance for us, that pretty much sums it up for us. Do we deserve it? A lot of people would argue no but sport is a funny thing, it throws up occasions like this and we are thankful of it. All we want to do is get into the play-offs, and we showed last year that once you are in there, anything can happen.
It's up to us to do our bit on Friday night, get the win, and after that, what will be, will be.
Going into the final game of the regular season the Ospreys lie just one point and one position behind Cardiff Blues in the fourth and final play-off spot, and are reliant on results elsewhere going their way if they are to secure a place in the top four, but Biggar insists that should they manage to overhaul one of the teams above them then the Ospreys will deserve their place in the play-offs.
The season is 22 games long and the league table is there for a reason he said.
It doesn't lie. Munster have been far and away the best team in the league this season and their position at the top reflects that. The facts are that you are where you are at the end of the season because that’s where you deserve to finish after 22 games.
At the minute the table says that we are the fifth best team in the league but there's one more game to go and a win in that could see us up to fourth and even third in the league after the fianl round of fixtures, and that will mean that we deserve to be in the play-offs.
We aren't kidding ourselves that it's been a great season, and if results don't go for us on Friday then, again, the table will reflect our true standing. It's very tight around the play-offs, that shows it's a competitive league. We can't focus on the negatives going into the game on Friday, we have to concentrate on our own game and perform as best we can to try and bag that play-off place. We still have a very real chance of getting there and that has to be our target.
Despite Aironi's lowly position at the foot of the Magners League table, Biggar is expecting a tough test on Friday and he says the Ospreys are well aware of the type of challenge they will face
They are similar to any Italian team that you'll face he explained.
They are extremely tough at home, very physical and set-piece oriented, and they will challenge us immensely. We are well aware that if we aren't on top of our game then we'll come up short. We don’t want to look back on the season with regrets at missing out on the play-offs. They are going to be tough to beat so we know that we are going to have to be on our mettle.
Seven points against Munster last time out saw Biggar become only the second Osprey player to ever reach 300 points in a season behind Gavin Henson, while with 498 points in the Magners League to date from 52 competition appearances, he needs just two more to again join Henson as the only Ospreys to have broken the 500 point landmark in the competition. However, he insists that he is more concerned with how the team does than any personal achievements. He said:
It's a nice landmark to make, only one player has managed that for us before, just the same as it's nice to get past 300 for the season, but the team is the most important thing. All we want to do is finish in the top four. When personal landmarks come along it’s nice to be aware of it but points scored and anything like that don't really matter, it's getting to the play-offs and performing as a team that counts.