‘Enjoyable experience’ will help Ospreys

Steve Tandy has declared Monday night’s ‘A’ team fixture against the Blues a success, which will prove invaluable as preparation for a busy period without the region’s international contingent.

The Ospreys ‘A’ side scored four tries on their way to a 24-15 win at BT Sport Cardiff Arms Park. Tom Grabham, Hanno Dirksen, Calum Davies all touched down, along with a penalty try awarded at scrum time, and the Head Coach was pretty satisfied with the evening’s work.
“I thought it was a really enjoyable experience” he said after the game. 
“We had guys involved who are at differing ends of the spectrum but they all bought into the concept of it and really enjoyed representing the Ospreys, which is what we wanted to see.
“There were a lot of good things out there. A lot of hard work has gone into this game and the boys really responded. You’ve got people who haven’t had much time on the pitch yet so are finding it a frustrating season, someone like Grabham who was 25th man on Sunday in Europe and is desperate for a game, they all played big roles. 
“Then you’ve got young men coming in from our development pathway or the likes of Rhod Cole from Neath and Zach O’Driscoll from Bridgend. It was pleasing to see them all standing up and taking this opportunity to show what they can do.
“This experience is huge for us in terms of the games coming up in November. We lose nine Welsh boys to the national squad after Europe and there’ll be others away with their countries as well. We’ve got a massive fixture against Connacht at the Liberty and I’m sure that a lot of these boys will be involved in that game, then we’ve got the LV and tough games in Ulster and Leinster. It’s a pretty difficult period for us, one that will really test the depth of our squad. 
“It won’t be an easy six weeks, but we are preparing for it now. We’re doing it differently, we organised this fixture with a view to this group being ready when we need them. It’s hard for them to go into action with the Ospreys cold, mentally and physically. No disrespect to the Premiership as it’s an important part of the development pathway for us, but they don’t play regularly as a team week in, week out.
“If you look at the side that was involved in the Champions Cup on Sunday, there was a whole host of players who were blooded through the LV= Cup. That’s how important it is in terms of the bigger picture. The boys who step up from this game will have big shoes to fill but the opportunity for progression is clear to them, they’ve just got to look at who has gone before them in the LV and where they are now.”