Jonathan Humphreys was full of praise for the collective team effort that allowed the Ospreys to overcome Munster at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday evening.
Missing 19 players through international call-ups and injury the Ospreys faced a full strength Munster 23, but put in a sterling effort to secure a 19-13 win to complete the double over the Irish province and maintain their push at the top end of the PRO12 table with just the one defeat in 10 league games this season.
Speaking to the press post-match, Humphreys spoke of his pride in the way the Ospreys had fronted up to the challenge.
“It’s been a fantastic effort by this group of boys” said the Ospreys Forwards Coach.
“The competitiveness and spirit that they have is first class and we are delighted with the effort that was shown out there.
“We’ve always prided ourselves that we are a region that develops players and we are delighted when they go and play international rugby, but the boys that don’t go are as competitive, and they display the culture and the values that we want from Ospreys players.
“There were some testing times out there, particularly those last few minutes, but we’re gaining a reputation as a team that can win close games, that can close out tight games and can win narrowly and we showed that today.
“Going in at the break behind it was important we got the second half off to a good start and got some points. We didn’t want Munster scoring first, opening up a bit of a lead, and we managed to create some good opportunities. What was pleasing for us was that we held on to the ball a lot more than we have in previous games and that allowed us the opportunity to keep the ball in hand and when we do that we are a dangerous team.
“Everybody who played out there made a massive contribution. We were under no illusions at the size of the task, but we back ourselves here, we back the Ospreys team no matter what it is, and I couldn’t be prouder of this group of players.
“The win wasn’t just about us rolling up here tonight and digging in for a win. It was the culmination of a lot of hard work and effort from everybody at the Ospreys, and I include in that the boys away with Wales at the moment. We’ve talked about trying to build something here, based around character and values, culture, and while we are long way from the finished article you can see tonight the kind of thing that we’ve spoken about.
“We played as a team, a collective, and we got our just reward tonight. It wasn’t perfect, far from it, but there are certainly positive signs about how this group, this team, is growing, and I’m immensely proud of them, as should our supporters be.
“Talking of the fans, you have to acknowledge the loyal supporters who turned up today despite the attractions elsewhere, and really showed their colours. They were fantastic, absolutely fantastic, and I can’t thank them enough on behalf of the team for their efforts to lift the players in the second half.
“We always have selection problems, so this week is nothing different. How do you reward two groups of players? How do you reward the ones who have performed really well these last two weeks, but not penalise players for going away to play for their country? It’s a headache that we’ve always had, and the other regions are now coming across that. It’s not easy, it never is.”