Steve Tandy says that the Ospreys passed a “good test of character” with their win over Grenoble at Stade des Alpes on Friday night.
The players put a frustrating 24 hours behind them in some style, running in nine tries and securing the try bonus before the half-time whistle, the 59-7 win continuing the region’s outstanding start to their European campaign.
At the halfway point of the pool stage they now boast an unblemished record with three straight bonus point wins and, reflecting on the evening, the Ospreys Head Coach was pleased with his squad’s reaction”
“It was a good test of character after everything that’s gone on and we got a good reaction from the group which was extremely pleasing” said Tandy.
“The boys have been a bit up and down, not knowing whether the game was going to happen or not, so in fairness it was a good focus. We spoke during the day about not looking for excuses, that we had a job to do and we had to be professional about it, and it was an excellent response from a good group of people.
“We had a long injury list coming into this and there were a few boys resting up back home so the victory has been a real squad effort and that’s what’s most pleasing about this.”
Tandy acknowledged that while it would be easy to get carried away by the size and manner of the victory there was still room for improvement, saying:
“We had a good intent to play from the off and when there were opportunities to shift the ball we did. If anything, we were probably a little bit too loose towards the front end but the intent was pleasing. Defensively I thought we were a little bit more passive than we usually are but we barred up in the second half.
“We kept the scoreboard ticking over, got all the bench on, and it was a good night for us in the end. We aren’t going to get carried away with this. There will be tougher days to come but it’s a good result, another five points. We’ve got to make sure we back this up at the Liberty next weekend.
“We’ll get home on Saturday now, chill out and the boys will come back into work on Tuesday and get ready for the home game on Saturday.”
“We’ll probably rotate the squad around a bit again, which we’ve done throughout the Challenge Cup so far. Everyone coming into the shirt has performed well and they have to, that’s the expectation.
“Like I said, we’ve got our fair share of injuries at the moment, but we’ll freshen things up a bit. Next weekend will be about us. If we get our own house in order then I’m sure we’ll get the performance and, then, the result will come with it.”
Asked about the Ospreys’ challenge for honours this season, Tandy acknowledged that his team have put themselves in a good position.
“We’re in this sport to win games and that’s what we are doing at the moment” he said.
“We’re in a good position in the Guinness, we know there’s a massive Christmas period coming up, and we know that a home win next Saturday would put is in total control of the group.
“We aren’t looking too far ahead at this stage though, there’s a lot of work to be done still, but we know that if we keep putting in winning performances then we’ll be in a good place in this tournament.”
Grenoble visit the Liberty Stadium for the return leg next weekend. The game is NOT on TV and kicks off at 3pm on Saturday 17th December. You can buy tickets now, from £20 for adults and £5 for kids, at www.ospreysrugby.com/buytickets