After watching a heavily depleted Ospreys team push Aviva Premiership side Worcester all the way on Saturday afternoon, Steve Tandy said that there was plenty to be pleased about in the manner of the performance, despite the scoreline.
The Ospreys had gone into the game into the game missing 27 players through either international duty, suspension or injury, with another 12 players rested or listed for club duty in the Principality Premiership, but they matched a far more experienced Worcester side all the way, the difference proving to be the sin binning of flanker Sam Lewis just before the interval, the hosts adding 14 points while he was off the field.
Nevertheless, Tandy, who once again stepped up to lead the region during the LV= Cup campaign, said that there were positive signs for the Ospreys future:
"I’m proud of the boys for the way they approached the game and the way they tried to play in difficult conditions" he said.
"I thought they were superb. Obviously the sin bin proved costly and was the difference between the two teams in the end, they got 14 points while we were a man short, and they shut the game down from there and made it difficult for us.
"We had a fairly young team again, Worcester had far more experience out there than us. That’s what the LV= Cup is about for us. I thought there were some real positives for us, not just today but throughout the competition. The future’s bright for the Ospreys. We came here knowing that Worcester had a strong pack but I thought we stood up to the test generally, with some good performances across the team and off the bench. It wasn’t an easy afternoon but we showed plenty to be happy with.
"Defensively I thought it was great effort and apart from when we were down to 14 men we looked very strong, I thought we looked very comfortable indeed on the whole, which given the inexperience in our starting line-up is a good sign. We were probably guilty of overplaying it on occasions give the conditions but I liked the intent of what we were trying to do.
"I thought Hanno and Eli on the wings were terrific, Matthew Morgan had a better game today, Joe Rees did well against a tough opponent, and it was nice to see James King back. Sam Lewis, Lloyd Peers, Scott Baldwin, they are all young, developing Ospreys players, and I think it’s exciting for us as a region to see these players getting this experience.
"It’s been a real learning curve for us, from the first game in this competition against Exeter to where we are today and we can pretty happy that this group of players have made a big step forward regardless of today’s result, that will be a big positive for Ospreys Rugby."
The one downside of the afternoon was an injury to prop Cai Griffiths, Tandy issuing a medical update to the press before leaving Sixways:
"Cai’s gone to hospital to get his arm sorted, he suffered a fractured forearm in the first half, but apart from that, fingers crossed, everyone has held up pretty well."