The Ospreys made it six from six in Europe at Kingston Park on Saturday, another bonus point win making it a perfect 30 points, but Steve Tandy isn’t getting carried away.
As ever, the Ospreys Head Coach was quick to keep feet firmly planted on the ground as the post-match plaudits were coming his way, as he picked a game of two halves apart.
“I’m proud of the second half performance” said Tandy.
“The first half was probably the worst we’ve played in this competition but they battled back, did what they’ve practiced in the week. It was a pleasing reaction and in the end I think we got what we deserved.
“Half-time I probably wasn’t as calm as I’ve been the last couple of weeks. I was a little bit angry for the first time in a long time. I felt we were gifting Newcastle a little bit. What we practiced in the week we didn’t deliver on. We were too cheap in possession, our turnover was at 44 per cent in the first half which wasn’t good enough.
“We wanted to go deep into the phases, to stretch Newcastle as much as we could, and we didn’t do that. Ultimately, coming in at 21-7, we got what we deserved for not looking after the football.
“It’s really pleasing for the squad, we’ve rotated a hell of a lot in this competition and they’ve responded well generally.”
Tandy did pay tribute to the young squad who showed incredible character after the break, particularly with the average age of the starting pack just 23, and for what he classed as a team effort.
“You’ve got a very young pack of forwards out there, really youthful and they battled back well. We were disappointed with our defence in the first but we should have scored a few more tries ourselves.
“We battled hard, everyone played their part. It’s nice to see all 23 getting on, people like young Dan Suter coming on and anchoring the scrum in the last part of the game. For the group as a whole it’s been a really good competition.
"Obviously it’s a record but that won’t mean anything going into the quarter final.”
With the Premiership Select side recording a memorable win at the Madejski Stadium earlier in the day, becoming the first team to defeat London Irish all season, the focus now turns to the Anglo Welsh Cup where the Ospreys are currently top of the pool. Next weekend they host Bristol at the Brewery Field, before travelling to face Wasps, and Tandy said that he doesn’t expect standards to drop over the next fortnight.
“Every game where we are representing the Ospreys we want to win” he said.
“It was a good lift going into the game for all of us to hear that the B&I team had won so well at London Irish, that was a huge result.
“Whenever these boys pull on an Ospreys shirt they want to perform, to do the shirt justice and to win.
“We’ve got a plan in and around how we want to attack the Anglo Welsh. There are some young boys here tonight who will play, while some of the seniors won’t figure next week as we have one eye on Zebre further down the track.
“There are a lot of boys playing in the B&I today who have really put their hand up, some young backs we are pretty excited to see, while we’ve still got a core of senior guys like Bearman and McCusker to provide the experience. It’s another competition, another challenge and what we’ve done over the last few weeks won’t count but we are looking forward to going to Bridgend for a tough 80 minutes against Bristol.”