Ben John has urged the Ospreys to use the momentum of a sixth straight win as they prepare for next Saturday’s PRO12 semi-final against Munster at Thomond Park.
The centre, who has been in fine personal form, scored his third try in as many games yesterday, as the Ospreys roared into a 24 point half-time lead only to be pinned back after the break as Connacht threatened one of the great comebacks.
The Ospreys held on, but the failure to grab a fourth try meant they surrendered a home semi-final when Glasgow scored their fourth in the dying moments of their win over Ulster.
Now the in-form John, man of the match in Galway, says the Ospreys, whose unbeaten run actually stretches to seven games, will be looking to upset the odds in Limerick.
“We’re disappointed that we didn’t get that fourth try for the home semi, but we have won the game and we shouldn’t forget that” he said.
“The semi-final is huge wherever you play it, being at the Liberty wouldn’t have guaranteed anything so the task doesn’t change. We’ve got to win, and beat a very good team, so we know what we have to do.
“It’s just about getting the win, there’s no bonus point, there’s no tactical play, it’s perform as best you can and hopefully get the win at the end of it. That’s what play-off rugby is all about, 80 minutes and winner takes all. We can forget the last 22 matches now, it’s all about what happens at Thomond Park and then, if we do the job, at Ravenhill a week later.”
After a topsy-turvy 80 minutes, John says that the Ospreys will pick the bones out of the performance before looking ahead to next week positively:
“It was a crazy wind, but it was the same for both teams so we can’t blame the conditions for not getting the bonus point. They kept us pinned back in the second half and we struggled to exit. The win was the number one thing when we came over and we held on and that’s important.
“Even if we missed out on the bonus point, we’ve still got momentum building and we are heading in the right direction. We have to build on that now, get a good week’s prep in and then make sure we perform to the best of our ability next Saturday. We know we have to be at our best as we are going to be playing a very good team and their result against the Dragons shows what they can do if you allow them to play.
“They’ve got masses of experience of big games and semi finals and whatever, they know what it takes to win when the pressure is on, but we are looking forward to it.
“If I’m selected it’ll be the biggest game I’ve ever been involved with. I can’t wait.”