The Last Eight of Us

The Last Of Us: Road to the Knockouts

By Paul Williams

It’s not just Pedro Pascal and Bella Ramsey who’ve had to get used to a gruelling battle in a hostile environment. Whilst they both fended off enemies in a post-apocalyptic drama called The Last of Us, it’s nothing compared to the challenge that many United Rugby Championship (URC) teams will face in the race for the ‘Last Eight of Us’ – or as it’s otherwise known, the playoffs. 

For the first time since the league switched to the URC, the Ospreys have the chance to make it into the last eight. It would be a fantastic achievement for a squad who are competing in a rugby landscape that is every bit as challenging as that faced by Joel and Ellie. 

From this point on, as an Ospreys’ supporter, it’ll become almost impossible not to get infected by the race for the last eight. The O’s currently have 30 points and are sitting in tenth position - with a goal to reach 49 points. But it won’t be easy. Along the way they’ll have to face a host of enemies. An incredible 12 of the 16 teams in the league are in contention, in what is arguably the most competitive season that the league has ever witnessed. 

Becoming the first Welsh team to reach the last eight, since the league expanded into the URC, won’t be easy. Up first is Munster at home, which is never a simple fixture. As a team, Munster are as close to a zombie squad as you could wish to meet. They never give up and seem immune to pain. Plus, this season they have their very own genetic freaks in Gavin Coombes and Thomas Ahern. 

Next, it’s the Lions at home, who are playing some of the most attractive rugby in the league. The manner with which they swept aside the Sharks was one of the highlights of the season and was worthy of its very own HBO series. 

Then it’s time for a trip to South Africa where the Ospreys face the Stormers and the Bulls – which is a monstrous task for any of the touring northern hemisphere teams. The summer conditions of the southern hemisphere create a challenge like no other for the coaches and players of the northern hemisphere. 

Next up will be Leinster away, where the Ospreys will face a squad so deep that at times it genuinely seems like armies of the undead (with brilliant skillsets) are literally coming out of nowhere. 

Then finally it’s Dragons at home and of course a fixture that sounds like a zombie movie in its own right – Judgement Day against Cardiff Rugby. 

The 2023/ 24 season has presented a playing challenge like no other – such is the quality of teams now in the URC. For the Ospreys, like every other team in the hunt for the last eight, everything counts. Every try, every shot at goal, every tackle, every lineout call, every bonus point - but most importantly every supporter. 

Good luck on your journey.

Join your Ospreys team on their journey at our remaining 23/24 home games: