Summer signing Brendon Leonard picked up the Man of the Match as the Ospreys secured a first PRO12 win of the new season, and his first league victory since joining the region in the summer.
The former All Black was an influential figure in the defeat of Treviso that kickstarted the Ospreys’ season, and he obviously delighted with the team’s performance when he spoke after picking up his Man of the Match award at the final whistle.”
“We played a lot better, we used the ball well, it was definitely an enjoyable game to be a part of” said Leonard.
“We’ve got some good players so it was pleasing to see us keeping ball in hand and really working the opposition.
“I think it’s a mindset thing. It’s a fairly young group at the moment and without that experience it’s easy to go into the shell if things aren’t going well, to plan. I think the boys definitely rose to the challenge today though, and got a deserved win.
“It doesn’t just happen, that’s down to the hard work that has been put in during the week and then out there this afternoon. It was all about sheer hard graft, there are no shortcuts in rugby.”
Operating behind a pack that not just stood up to their opponents but who dominated in key areas of the battle, Leonard pulled the strings to guide the Ospreys to victory. He acknowledged that the performance up front had been key, saying:
“Our scrum and lineout went much better than it has been and that allowed us to build a bit of pressure. It’s easier to function as a back unit if you have that platform and you could see that at times, we were able to do what we wanted to in the right areas of the field and got our reward.
“You know that Treviso are a tough outfit and if they are in touch with 20 to go they fancy their chances. We managed to build up enough of a buffer and had to ride out some pressure, so although we couldn’t manage to get that fourth try we held on for the win we feel we deserved.
“Hopefully we can draw some confidence from this and take it on to the next game, against Connacht next weekend. It can be hard on you going into games when it’s loss after loss, particularly when you have a young team without that experience and knowhow.
“Once you get over that hump, and this result has hopefully gone a long way towards that for us, then the mindset can change. Yes, we know what we are trying to do as a team, but when it clicks, then the realisation and understanding comes with it. It’s important now that we recover and prepare well this week and look to make that next step, building the momentum that we need to kick on from here now.”