Italian job will give the Ospreys play-off

Joe Bearman is one of the travelling party heading across to northern Italy this weekend for the final round of the regular PRO12 season, and although a home semi-final against either Munster or Glasgow on the following Friday night has already been secured, the big back-rower has issued a warning that the Ospreys will need to be firing on all cylinders in Viadana if they are going to keep their recent good run going.

We’re heading over to Aironi this week looking to get a good performance and result to carry us on to the semi’s positively” said Bearman.

“It’s important that we perform well in Aironi for momentum but we realise it’ll be tough, so we are going to have to be on top form if we don’t want to be brought crashing back down to earth at the wrong time.”

There was some speculation that with the home tie guaranteed the Ospreys may opt to leave a number of players behind this weekend, a school of thought that Bearman insists would have been the wrong option. He explained:

“I can understand people saying that, especially with the semi-final less than a week after the Aironi game but in reality we’ve all just had last weekend off so we want to be playing. It’s what we are paid to do and I think I speak for everyone when I say no one wants to be left at home twiddling their thumbs the weekend before the biggest game of the season.

“There’s always the risk of injuries, but that could happen just as easily in training, so you’ve got to pick a team that you think can do the job and put your faith in the boys to keep the good run going. That’s what we want to do on Saturday.”

Having moved to Ospreylia last summer following five years and more than 70 appearances for the Dragons, Bearman has established himself in the matchday squad during the second half of the season, with 23 appearances and tries to his name so far. As the season goes into overtime, the Welsh qualified Cornishman is relishing being involved in the chase for silverware:

“This is actually why I signed for the region” he said

“It’s brilliant to be involved at this stage of the season. I’m really enjoying it and fingers crossed we can get a good win next week in the semi, whoever we are playing, and keep our involvement going to the final. That would be fantastic.

“Whoever we find ourselves playing, it’s going to be difficult and it’s going to be tough to predict the outcome. You look at Munster and we’ve beaten them twice already this season, which is something you don’t often get to say, but you know that will fire them up even more. When you add in that they have to look on from the outside at an all Irish European final then you can guarantee that will be determined to put themselves in the frame for the PRO12.

“Then you’ve got Glasgow who’ve beaten us twice and won at the Liberty recently. There’s no easy game in this league, particularly when you get to this stage, so we have to prepare for everything. You know exactly what you are going to get from Munster, they are exactly what they say on the tin. They’ll never change, but the challenge is handling that. It’s not easy. With Glasgow, they are a little bit more unpredictable and that in itself makes them dangerous.

“Whoever we get, we know we will have to be at our best or we’re going to be disappointed.”