Lewis proud to be part of derby success

One of the unsung Ospreys heroes in recent weeks, Sam Lewis was again to the fore for the region in the Boxing Day win over the Scarlets.


The 23-year old flanker was a candidate for the man-of-the-match award – which was taken by skipper Alun Wyn Jones – after a phenomenal shift that saw him leading the tackle chart for the region with 10 successful tackles made. In addition, his two turnovers include the crucial one at the death that eventually led to an Ospreys penalty, allowing them to bring a tough contest to an end.

Reflecting on the win, the Mumbles RFC product was quick to deflect praise onto his colleagues, highlighting the faith he had in the collective to keep the Ospreys line intact.

“I think it started from putting pressure on their lineout, either Ianto or Tyler went up and disrupted” said Lewis..

“It’s the first Scarlets derby I’ve been involved in, and I was very proud to be a part of the squad. It was a very tough game and I’m just glad that we were able to get that ‘W’ which matters. Hopefully we can improve on the Boxing Day performance this week and get another important win.

“Looking back at the footage I’ve seen how physical it was. When you are in the heat of the battle I don’t think you appreciate how physical it is, I’d say it’s only afterwards when you are reviewing the game you can appreciate it. You count up the hits and realise how tough it was.

“I loved every minute of it. I don’t think I’ve ever experienced anything like that before personally.”

As 2013 draws to a close, Lewis can look back on what has been a breakthrough 12 months for him, with 24 appearances to his credit during the calendar year. Having missed out on regional age-grade recognition as a teenager, Lewis has worked hard to establish himself at the Ospreys, moving through the pathway from Swansea RFC after impressing in the Premiership.

A specialist open side by trade, he has excelled in recent weeks on the blind side, working in tandem with Justin Tipuric before returning to the number seven role at Parc y Scarlets.

Looking back on the last year, Lewis highlights one game as his standout memory, but also points out the role of his more senior colleagues in his personal development:

“Just playing so many games really, I think, that’s what I’ll remember most. Playing in the Heineken Cup win against Castres at the Liberty Stadium was a game I really enjoyed, that was brilliant for me. Hopefully I can keep playing now and kick-on from here.

“It’s been brilliant. When Tips is on the field, with myself, I think we just feed off each other and work well together. It’s brilliant playing with a quality player like him and he really helps my game. It will be good for me if we can keep playing together.

“The back row here is a real strength, there’s fierce competition for places with experienced people like Ryan and Joe, showing the way. I’m just honoured to be a part of it really. There are a lot of great players that I can learn from, in training and on a matchday.”

Having enjoyed a few hard earned days rest post Boxing Day, Lewis is now targeting a place in the XV for Friday night’s return game against the Scarlets.

“For sure, it’s going to be another physical encounter”  he said.

“That goes without saying. It looks as though there’s going to be another big crowd at the the Liberty which is excellent news. With a big crowd, we can use that to egg us on to what will hopefully be another important win.”

Don’t miss the chance to be a part of another special Liberty Stadium occasion, and buy your tickets for the big game now.

Tickets are available 24/7 online at www.ospreysrugby.com/buytickets, or you can purchase them the Liberty Stadium Ticket Office and via the Ticket Hotline on 0844 815 6665 during opening hours.

Alternatively, tickets are on sale now at Tesco Extra Bridgend, Tesco Extra Fforestfach, Tesco Extra Llansamlet, Tesco Neath Abbey and Tesco Swansea Marina.