After watching the Ospreys bounce back from going 13-0 behind in the early stages, Jonathan Humphreys was full of praise for the endeavours of a young Ospreys side in their hard fought Magners League victory over Ulster.
Speaking to the assembled media after the game, Humphreys said:
“We’re delighted with the win. It was tough to go that far behind early doors, but this team’s got great spirit. It was pleasing to see them stick to the game plan, and they played as a team. That was what got us back into it.
“I think we showed real character tonight. We showed the effort and attitude that we want to see from an Ospreys team, and the boys can be proud of what they did. They played as team, they worked hard, they were 100 per cent committed to the cause and they played for each other, which is exactly what you ask of them as a coach. They were up against a very good, and very experienced Ulster side, so they have hard to work extremely hard for this result.
“I thought we were the dominant scrum out there and we earned the right to get the decisions we did in that area. There were standout performances across the park, a few players that were excellent. Tom Smith is a kid who has waited a long time to get a chance. He’s been diligent at his work, and yes, I thought he was outstanding. I thought Ashley Beck was outstanding as well. He’s a player that we have a lot of faith in.
“Ian Evans is slowly coming back to what we want from him, he’s a big person in the line-out for us, and Marty Holah was outstanding again.
“We love this time of the year. These boys are a great bunch to work with, they are diligent in their preparation and they want to do well. We’ve won this title three times, and those successes have been off the back of these players.
“This year, more than ever, we are looking to this group to guide us through because the games come thick and fast now despite the international break, and so far, the signs have all been very positive, first in November and now over the last few weeks. Like I said, there is a great spirit in this group, they believe in what we are doing and they work extremely hard.
“We’ve put together a decent run of results, but we still need to improve over in the weeks ahead if we are going to achieve our goal. Starting with Treviso next week, who got another excellent win against Munster today, the tests will come thick and fast and it’s pretty exciting to see how this group of players react.”