LV= Cup experience will stand the Ospreys in good stead for the future says Player-Coach Tiatia
Speaking to the media after the game, Tiatia commented:
"We're pretty pleased overall with the result and the general performance, but there were some aspects that we are quite disappointed about to be honest. Although there was a lot of good stuff at times, it was a bit frustrating watching it. But, saying that, the positives that we can take out of that are that we finished with a win, and that there were a lot of kids out there who have really benefited from the experience.
"We has a couple of debuts among the replacements, which was a big positive for us. I'm really happy for Conor McInerney who came off the bench, he's had a long spell out with a knee injury this season so it was good to see him finally get out there, while young Ben John is still in the age-grade system and he did really well when he came on late in the second half to play on the wing. There were two first starts tonight as well; Hanno Dirksen went well, scored a really good try and was involved in the play numerous times which was fantastic, and Marc Breeze, who showed up well in the front row. All in all, it's pretty exciting to see young talent out there showing their ability and they'll be hoping to be involved in the game coming up against Connacht. There were a lot of young guys out there tonight who really put their hands up for the future.
"Everything is about development in this tournament, and the luxury is that it allows us to try out different combinations. With numerous players away on international duty it's easy to say that we've got no other choice, but in this environment it takes some of the pressure away. They are young, they are still learning the game, and there are different areas that they need to improve on, technically and tactically, but that will come. They will only improve from the experience.
"That's the beauty of this competition is that it actually takes us forward, with an eye on the Magners League in the coming weeks as the majority of the boys you've seen out there will be looking to be involved when we come up against Connacht in a few weeks time. There's a lot of work that we need to do behind the scenes, but hopefully, with the win we can take that bit of momentum forward into that game. There'll be plenty of things for us to look at after tonight though. There are only so many things you can focus on in a week, this week it was about defence and I think we came up trumps there. Set piece, yes, there's definitely a bit of work to do there.
"We'll be in a good position for the Connacht game where we can welcome back a few players who haven't been involved, but saying that, the boys who have been playing won't make it easy for them to step straight in. As we say at the Ospreys, 'nothing comes easy, it only comes with hard work'."
The former All-Black has also been using the two recent LV= Cup fixtures as a development tool, stepping up to the role of Forwards Coach over the last couple of weeks as part of the Ospreys Coach Development programme, stepping up alongside Jonathan Humphreys and Skills Coach Gruff Rees to supervise the team during this period, and he said that he's enjoyed what had been a beneficial exercise:
"For me personally, it's been an interesting experience to say the least. I'm really happy with where I am at the moment in terms of my coaching, but obviously, again, I'm very young in this arena and I know that there's plenty more to come in terms of my learning. It's an invaluable experience for me. I'm learning as I go, I'm the new kid on the block, but I'm thoroughly enjoying what I'm doing. The development programme that the Ospreys have is first class, it's second to none, and the Ospreys are definitely heading in the right direction. I'm just happy to be a part of it."