Ben John has issued a danger warning as the Ospreys prepare to face a Connacht side at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday with an average of four tries a game so far this season.
Speaking after helping the Ospreys to a first win of the season in Treviso last weekend, the centre was immediately focusing on the next challenge, when the Irish province arrive in Ospreylia, and he said that the Ospreys must strive for a better performance if they want to start rising up the table.
“It’s going to be a very tough game, they are a good team in form so they will be dangerous” said John.
“They ended last season well and gave us a real scare out there on the final day, and they’ve started really well this season, scoring tries for fun. Treviso was a step up from us in terms of performance and we know we are going to have to be that much better again on Saturday.
“There were a few good things out there today but we can’t hide from a few mistakes so that’s what we’ll be looking at for improvements. No matter how you do on the scoreboard you have to always look to get better. We are improving week on week but we have to keep building and push on for the Connacht game, and some tough matches coming up after that.”
Reflecting on Saturday’s win, John said that nobody should underestimate the importance of the win, which ended a four game losing run for the Ospreys going back to last season’s semi-final at Thomond Park.
“We are going home with the ‘W’ after an improved performance. That’s the main thing, to come out here and get that win under our belt will give us confidence moving on. We knew that we would have to play well and stick to our game plan, that’s what we did and it meant we got the result.
“Treviso is always a difficult place to go, they are a physical team and they never give up. If they are still in the game with 20 minutes to go you know they’ll throw everything at the line. I’ve been involved in a couple of European games here where we’ve been in a similar position, winning going into the final quarter but we haven’t been able to hold them out and gone home losing.
“That’s what’s satisfying today, that we managed to see it out. We’ve still got plenty of room for improvement but this is a start. That’s all it is, a start.”
John crossed for his first try of the season during the first half on Saturday but he insists that celebrating the score wasn’t on his agenda.
“You’re always happy to score but the win was more important, just to get us heading in the right direction up the table. We showed good character and in terms of performance it was a lot more pleasing. It wasn’t perfect, there’s still a lot to work on, we know that, but with the win under our belt we can kick on.”
The Ospreys welcome Connacht to the Liberty Stadium this Saturday (24th October), kicking off at 1.30pm. Tickets are on sale now from the Ticket Office, the Ticket Hotline on 0844 815 6665 and online at ospreysrugby.com/buytickets.
Remember, if you have attended ANY Rugby World Cup match this autumn, at any venue, you can watch the game on Saturday for half price, with adult standard tickets costing just £10 when you present your Rugby World Cup ticket at the time of purchase.