Scott Johnson reflects on a memorable Ospreys win over Leicester.
Speaking to the media post-match, Johnson said:
“I said in the week that it would be a ripper of a game, and it didn’t disappoint. It didn’t do my heart any good either. It was a tough old outing, but it’s been a tough old pool. It’s been a privilige to be part of such a tough old pool really.
“As a coaching team we were getting a bit frustrated early in the second half, we missed a few opportunities which were stopping us getting past the seven point lead, which would have been nice. The reality was, we didn’t make the most of that spell of pressure, which in turn, meant that we put ourselves under a bit of pressure at the end.
“But, we were very, very brave. I think there’s much to like about this team, definitely. Our defence was fantastic, but fair play to Leicester as well, I think they were good as well. I thought that there were three possible winners in this one pool, so it really was the pool of death and we feel pretty good that we got through. I feel that the tournament is poorer for Leicester being out, but that makes life a little easier for those still in knowing that they don’t have to face them!
“The Ospreys are only seven years old, yet we get questioned about mental resolve and toughness, I find that funny. You can look at Munster and Leinster with all their history, who get spoken about for their mental resolve and whatever and it wasn’t that many years ago that people were saying the same thing about them. They are both wonderful clubs who have achieved a hell of a lot, but we aren’t up there yet in terms of history and achievement.
“We’re a young club, still growing, with a lot of young players, local boys. A result like that can really kick us on, endear us to the local public and help to build a really big support that can take the region forward.
“The try came from a piece of magic by James Hook, a local lad and a very talented lad. We’re very fortunate in that we’ve got two very good tens here in him and Dan Biggar, and I’m a big believer in that we need to have both players on the pitch at the same time. I absolutely love James at twelve, I think he adds another dimension. It’s a position he's maybe not that familiar with, but his personality and his skill set allows him to play there and I think that the game of rugby is better for him being there. Daniel is the same, people forget how young he is, but for him to go out there and lead a team in the way he did says a lot about him. With both of them on the pitch we can play some pretty attractive rugby.
“It’s an exciting time for Ospreys Rugby, we are through to the final eight of a very difficult pool and we can take real confidence from that achievement. We are still growing as a group, we are improving week on week, and will continue doing so. We’ll enjoy this result but we won’t get carried away, we’ll be kicking on as normal after this and working hard on continuing to climb that hill.”