Despite the disappointment of defeat in Toulouse on Saturday, Ospreys skipper Kahn Fotuali'i spoke of his pride in the young team post-match, stressing that the team will be a better one for the experience gained at Stade Ernest Wallon.
The Samoan led by example and was one of the Ospreys standout performers, his quick thinking leading to the region’s first try during a second quarter rally that had the French hosts on the ropes.
Speaking to the press outside the away dressing room shortly after the final whistle, Fotuali’i agreed with journalists who suggested that he should be proud of the performance from a team that lacked the Heineken Cup experience of the opposition.
“I’m very, very proud of the effort from the boys, definitely” he said.
“Playing a side like Toulouse is always very tough, but I’m proud of the way we approached it. Everyone gave 110 per cent. We had six players playing in their first Heineken Cup match, and their first game against Toulouse so I’m very proud of the effort.
“As Ospreys we don’t look for excuses. We’re here to play rugby and I thought we dig go out there today with the right mind for playing rugby. We knew we had a tough task ahead of us but it was all about rolling our sleeves up.
“We’re very disappointed we lost, but the boys went out there with a bit of confidence within the group. It was tough, and I guess the scoreboard doesn’t show how close things were at times. The feeling amongst the group was that we were in it but the scoreboard shows another story. We’ve got the next week now to rectify a few things, they’ve got to come to the Liberty now and our focus will be on trying to get the right performance and result.
“It’s very tough at places like this where there’s a big crowd and a passionate atmosphere but we try and focus on what’s happening on the field, inside the four lines. It’s part of being a professional, you just focus on your job. It’s always a physical game against a side like Toulouse, and they like to run the ball too. It was a great effort from the entire group and a great experience for the youngsters who have come in. It’s tough here, very tough, but we’ll be a better team for this experience.
“It says something about the future of Ospreys Rugby. There are young boys coming through, the future is looking bright if they keep their mind on the job and strive to wear an Ospreylian jersey. It’s really looking positive.”