Ospreys bosses have praised the magnificent support that the team received during their Heineken Cup quarter-final in San Seabstian at the weekend.
More than 1,000 Ospreylians made the trip to Basque country, and although it was Biarritz who came out on top after a nailbiting 80 minutes at the Estadio Anoeta, the supporters more than held their own and contributed to a fantastic atmosphere and a great occasion.
Speaking after returning to south Wales, Managing Director, Roger Blyth, said that everybody at the region was proud of the backing that the team had on Saturday afternoon:
"The fans were magnificent, there is no other word to describe them. We'd spoken before the game about the part they had to play out there and they certainly responded to the challenge from the Biarritz support. They were heavily outnumbered in a crowd of more than 25,000 but they certainly made it known they were there and at times it was only Ospreys voices that could be heard. They really were tremendous, and we'd like to place on the record our gratitude for the support they gave the team, it certainly made everybody that I've spoken to who was there proud to be an Osprey.
"The supporters played their part in what was a great occasion, and we are hugely disappointed that ultimately, we were unable to give them the reward that they deserved. We realise that a lot of expense and commitment goes into following the Ospreys home and away, particularly to go to places like San Sebastian, and we really do appreciate it. It's something we'd never take for granted, and being there on Saturday makes you realise what great support we have at the Ospreys.
"Now, we have to refocus as a group, that's players, coaches, directors and supporters, and look ahead to some big games in the Magners League over the next few weeks. There is still everything to play for and we need to stick together and work as a team. We want the fans to stick with us as we look to bounce back from the disappointment, and hopefully, we will give them many more occasions like Saturday to enjoy in the coming weeks and seasons."
Elite Performance Director, Andrew Hore, added:
"I would echo Roger's comments, the supporters really were first class on Saturday afternoon. They did everything that we could ask of them and it really was fantastic to hear them outsinging the home support at times. The players and coaches all really appreciate that kind of backing, it helps to lift and inspire the players at difficult stages of the game.
"Everybody was bitterly disappointed with the result, but it is important that we look at the bigger picture, review where we went wrong on Saturday and ensure that we learn from it. While there was an awful lot of good stuff from us on the pitch, we are well aware that there were certain areas that we could have controlled and didn't, which ultimately proved costly. We would have loved nothing more than to have rewarded the fans for their incredible backing with a home semi-final. Now, looking forward, it's important that we work together, recognise the improvements we have seen this year and stay focused for the many challenges and battles that lie ahead of us."