Head Coach Sean Holley praises young Ospreys after Russia win - but warns that there's plenty of room for improvement before the region kicks off it's Rabodirect Pro12 campaign against Leinster on September 2nd.
Speaking to the media post-match, Holley commented:
“It wasn’t about the win today to be honest, it was about getting some boys on to the park, getting some competitive contact and trying out some combinations.
“From that point of view we enjoyed it. We got a lot out of it against a tough, rugged team, that are right at the end of their preparations for the World Cup. We’re pretty happy, along with the fact that we came out of it without any injuries, which was obviously a concern for us with a depleted squad.
“In games like this you want to look at some of the things that we’ve worked on in pre-season training, things like bringing in new young guys into our defensive system, lineout and scrum, setting policies into our attacking system and getting these guys into an Ospreys shirt alongside guys like Ian Gough, Ian Evans, Sonny Parker, Mefin Davies, Andrew Bishop and Duncan Jones.
“It’s key for the young guys coming through that they understand what it means to put an Ospreys shirt on, and what is required of them when they do that, not just from the coaching staff but from the supporters who invest so much into the region.
“By and large they represented the region well today. We’re disappointed to spill some of the ball that we did and to concede three tries, which is twice the average we concede per game, so there’ll be a few youngsters will have to review that on Monday morning and learn a few lessons, but that’s part and parcel of having a fixture like this.
“You have to expect a little bit of rustiness and some mistakes to an extent, but we set standards that are required and we’ll be picking up on that. The experienced players in particular will highlight it and set the standards that we want all out players to reach. There may be a World Cup on but we have a domestic competition kicking off in less than two weeks that is of a very high standard and there’ll be games with a lot at stake, so we have to aspire to the highest standards ourselves.
“These youngsters are vitally important because they are an integral part of our squad now. Some of them have been with us a few seasons, they’ve been around our environment a while. People like Rhys Webb, Ashley Beck, Daniel Biggar, Kristian Phillips and James King, they are the fellas who have to really step up now and show that they can don the shirt and do it justice.
“That’s the challenge for them and some of them rose to the occasion this afternoon. I thought there were some good individual performances, we scored some nice tries, and the pleasing thing is the endeavour and the attitude is very good and they showed some of the qualities that we expect.
“To that end we’re happy with how the game went. We don’t have another one ahead of the Leinster game now, we chose not to play too many games because we have a depleted squad through the World Cup, but now we can take stock, have a good week in training next week and prepare for the start of the season.”