Forwards Coach Jonathan Humphreys takes plenty of positives from Ospreys performance in derby win over Cardiff Blues on New Year's Day.
Asked for his thoughts on the game by the media, just minutes after the final whistle, Humphreys commented:
“I thought we started the game extremely strongly. There were a couple of opportunities we could have taken, if we’d done that the game would have opened up a bit.
“With derby games, the nature of them is that they are very attritional and points on the board are huge. We missed a couple of kicks that would have given us a bit of daylight so it was always a pretty tight affair. When you are coming off a back of losses things get a little more difficult than they should be, but we are delighted that we showed great spirit and great resolve when we went down to Dan Parks’ drop goal, to actually structure our way back into the game. It was great that we showed good control at the set piece to win the chances to score those two crucial penalties.
“The amount of time that we stayed in their half, in their 22, was a positive. We’re always looking to be more clinical and sometimes when you aren’t getting the rewards for your dominance people can become a little edgy and hopefully, over the next couple of weeks we can start putting some of these chances away and this team will start loosening up a little bit.
“One of our positives from the game is that up against Blues backline full of internationals, with a lot of quality, we were really happy to shut them out. They didn’t look as dangerous as they have in other games. Casey Laulala is such a threat and we felt we dealt with him very well today.
“We’re very blessed with what we have available up front. We have three loose heads that are outstanding and it’s a tough job to move them around to try and get as much game time under their belt as you can so that you can then pick people on form. Ryan Bevington was outstanding today, and Duncan came on and again was outstanding. We were also delighted in that as many second rows as we’re down at the moment we can still turn round and put in such a positive performance at the set piece, especially the scrum.
“It’s a 23-man game these days and the quality we could bring off the bench certainly helped see us through. When you’ve got two halfbacks who can come on like Rhys Webb and Dan Biggar, you change the complexion of the game. Webby coming on is a threat, and with Dan I always feel comfortable when he’s there and it was great to see him slot that kick at the end.
“We’re big admirers of Nipper (Matthew Morgan) and it was great for him that the game was as open as it was in the first 20 minutes, to bring him into it. As it got a little tighter and we need those kicks to go over it’s always great to have Biggs. People forget that he’s only 22. It’s a good position for us to be in, with two young men with potential working hard to improve their games. It will only stand us in good stead moving forward.
“We’re looking to go to the Dragons next weekend and, again, put in a performance full of spirit and character. To play three games in 11 days is tough and we have to move our squad about as best we can. We’re very lucky that we have a strong squad. There will be changes, without doubt, and hopefully we can get the right result.”