Derby delight for Tandy

Steve Tandy declared himself “pleased with the night’s work overall” after watching the Ospreys extend their unbeaten run against Welsh teams to 10 games on Friday evening.


In their first ever game on the Blues’ artificial surface, it was a never less than gripping derby battle, and with Dan Biggar’s reliable boot guiding the Ospreys to a win, with a little help from try scorer Justin Tipuric,  Head Coach Tandy was relatively content with his team’s performance as they made it 10 wins from 10 agains Welsh opposition in the PRO12.

“Going into the derbies at the Christmas period you know that they are going to be tough games so to pick up four points from the first game, away from home, is something that we are pretty pleased with” he said post-match.

“There are a couple of things we want to work on, but in a hard fought derby with a great crowd, we can be pleased with the night’s work overall. We need to brush up on one or two things now ready to back it up down at the Scarlets though.

“I thought it was a pretty decent game in terms of quality, especially first half. The wind picked up a little bit more in the second half and we probably didn’t do a couple of things we’d have liked to, but saying that, it was a great advert for Welsh rugby.

“It’s going to be a huge game on Boxing Day now. They are always physical encounters and playing back to back is a little bit extra special. Tonight gives us a little bit more momentum. We played well against Castres, I thought the all round performance in that game was excellent. We played a good brand of rugby in that game, and tried to do that tonight, but we know that form does go out of the window in these derby games.

“Over the last couple of games we’ve created opportunities if not taken them. I did feel we’d built up enough pressure in and around the 22 to perhaps get the Blues a couple of yellow cards tonight. There were five or six penalties when we got into the 22, they were pretty cynical and it was something that frustrated us.

“We had one or two opportunities, a couple of line breaks, and a bit of momentum, we just coughed up the ball a little too cheaply.

“Back to back games against the Scarlets is going to test our squad but we’re excited about it. Hopefully we are going to have one or two more available to us, and we are going to need our squad if we are going to get what we want out of this Christmas.”

Asked about the off-field politics that are once again the talk of Welsh rugby, Tandy insisted that what matters this weekend is a winning performance for the Ospreys. He added:

“What’s being talked about off the field is what it is. What we worry about is how, as Ospreys, we play the game and how we can affect things. We’ve had a good week in the build up and although it can be frustrating for players as it is for supporters, in fairness to this group they are capable of putting it to one side in order to keep churning out points and performances.

It's always great to win and particularly in a derby match that means so much to players, supporters and everyone connected with the Ospreys. But this is a busy period and we now have to roll our sleeves up for what is a huge game against the Scarlets on Boxing Day.The boys don't need me to tell them that, anyway.

"I've been proud of the way we've ground out results over the past two weekends against Castres and now the Blues. If this game wasn't our best performance, we got the job done and in a derby situation that is always key."