After enjoying his first PRO12 start of the season at the weekend, scrum half Tom Habberfield wants to help push the Ospreys towards a top four finish and a place in the play-offs.
The Bridgend Athletic product has had to wait patiently for his opportunity to shine this time around after featuring regularly last season, but he took his chance with both hands as he played his part in a memorable, and vital, win over Munster at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday afternoon.
“It was a great feeling to be back in the starting line-up again, to feel like one of the boys and be amongst the team again” said Habberfield.
“It’s been a while since I started a league game so I was just really pleased to be picked. Thankfully it went well and I’m so happy to have helped the team win such an important game, it’s a big result for us.
“It’s been a while since I got 70 minutes under my belt so I was blowing a bit by the end but I won’t complain about that!”
Playing at scrum half, the Wales sevens and U20 cap had the perfect view of an impressive forward performance that laid the platform for the Ospreys’ success, and Habberfield was full of praise for his pack, and skipper for the day, Justin Tipuric.
“All weeks Justin has been talking about needing to be physical, to dominate their forwards and to ensure everybody knew what they had to” he added.
“That was the difference, I think we did that in the first half and the penalty count was something like nine to one, which shows we were on the front foot.
“When penalties are coming your way you have to take advantage of them, make sure you don’t waste your efforts. We were pressurising them, Sam (Davies) was having a great afternoon and he kept the scoreboard moving for us. It was great game management by him. When the yellow card eventually came we took advantage, the call was made to go to the corner and we backed ourselves to score. That was really pleasing.”
With the win, and defeats elsewhere in Wales for Leinster and Ulster, the Ospreys now enter the home straight well placed for the end of season play-offs and Habberfield is hoping to play his part in that push having finally made the starting XV. He said:
“It’s a great bunch of boys here, there’s a fantastic spirit and we’ve been disappointed with how the last few weeks have gone. We knew that it was important we stepped up this week to ensure that we were still in the mix at the end of the Six Nations and we did that today. Now, when the international boys come back in a few weeks to strengthen the squad there’s everything for us to play for. It looks like being an exciting end to the season.
“I absolutely loved being part of it again, but I know that with Webby on his way back it means there are more options available to the coaches. I’ve just got to keep working hard and hopefully I’ll get more chances.
“This performance means we’re in a good place for the end of season and we can control how our season plays out now and that’s exactly what Tandy asked of us this week. It’s going to be a difficult run-in and if we are going to get to the play-offs it’ll need a huge effort from everyone in the squad, but we’re all excited about it.”