The race for the play-offs enters the home straight this weekend when Benetton Treviso visit the Liberty Stadium on Saturday (KO 6.30pm), for the final home game of the regular season, and Dan Biggar has urged his team-mates to finish the campaign with a flourish as the Ospreys chase down a top four spot.
Treviso provide the opposition for the first of the remaining three games of the campaign with away trips to Glasgow and Leinster to follow and Biggar, speaking ahead of the end of season run-in, emphasised the importance of ensuring that the season would be judged on what happens in the last three games of the season as opposed to the opening three.
“We’re getting to the business end of the season now and it’s important we keep our momentum going”he said.
“We’ve picked up two wins in our last two games which has allowed us to keep hold of fourth place, and we know that we are probably going to have to win all three remaining matches to progress. We have to concentrate on our own game, starting with Saturday night and Treviso, and looking to pick up some points to put us in a good position.
“With the start of the season we had, losing the first three, we understand that we’ve left ourselves with a tough task. You don’t win things in September though, it’s where you are in April and May that you tend to be judged on and that will be the case this year.
“We regrouped well after a poor start, we’ve lost what, two in the last 16 league games? We’ve gone on a pretty decent run and now it’s about making sure we finish the season off well with real momentum and some positive results. If we do that, anything is possible.”
Focussing on Saturday night’s game and the threat to the Ospreys play-off hopes that Treviso pose, Biggar highlighted the Italian team’s 29-29 draw at Ravenhill last month as evidence of the danger his team faces this weekend.
“Treviso are a team that will always present a huge challenge” Biggar insisted.
“They are side who can come here on Saturday with a sense of freedom, without any pressure on them, and look to play an adventurous game of rugby. We are going to have to really be on our mettle to get anything out of the game.
“They keep on improving every year and have become a very good team as we’ve seen for ourselves when they’ve beaten us. We don’t need reminding about the threat they pose. Playing them in Italy they are probably as tough opposition as anyone even Glasgow or Leinster. Thankfully, we’ve got them at the Liberty but that doesn’t mean it’s going to be any easier.
“They got a great result in Ulster last month and we have to make sure that we are at our best if we want to avoid a similar score line or worse on Saturday.”
Although Biggar and his colleagues focus will be on Saturday for now, with Glasgow away next week and then a trip to Dublin to face Leinster on the final day of the season he acknowledges that it won’t get any easier. However, whatever the outcome this Saturday he says the group will have belief in their ability to deliver a fourth successive play-off spot. He commented:
“We’ve got experience in winning games away from home against these teams which is obviously a good thing. It’s important that we realise how difficult a challenge it’s going to be though. It’s two tough away games against two good teams who have done very well this season.
“We’ll go there with a positive outlook on things, we’ll hope that results elsewhere will go in our favour, but the reality is that this has to be all about us and what we do over the next few weeks. If we don’t put in a winning performance on Saturday though, what happens on the last two weekends could be irrelevant.”
Tickets for the big game against Benetton Treviso are on sale now at the Liberty Stadium Ticket Office, online at www.ospreysrugby.com/buyticketsand via the Ticket Hotline on 0844 815 6665.