After watching the Ospreys defeat Treviso at the Liberty Stadium, Head Coach Sean Holley said the 23 men on duty got their 'just rewards' on Friday night.
The region picked up a try bonus point to ensure they remain in contention for a place in the last eight of either the Heineken or Amlin Cup, and Holley said the attitude of the squad this week had impressed him.
“I’m pleased to get the try bonus point, yes, but I’m more pleased with the way the boys applied themselves all week” was his view as he spoke to the media shortly after the final whistle.
“We tweaked a few things this week. We tried to play with a little bit more movement, the boys responded positively and we got our rewards.
“You’ve got to say that we could have put a few more tries over, that’s been the story of our season really. We are lacking that bit of a clinical edge, but I’m just really pleased that we’ve got over the line as many times as we have tonight for a deserved victory.
“Clearly we’re disappointed with the Saracens performances, we dominated the game at home and should be better placed now but we don’t want to look back, we’re looking forward to the rest of the season. We talked about putting pressure on other teams this week and we’ve managed to do that now. If we can get as much as we can next week then who knows? Stranger things have happened. We want to finish the pool strongly and see where we come out in the mix.
“We’ll see what happens elsewhere this weekend then we’ll see what happens next weekend. We still believe that there’s a chance in this competition, you’ve got to, and that’s what we’ll focus on. What happens after that we’ll see. If we’re in the Amlin, we’ll be going for it. There’ll be silverware and ranking points at stake. Our belief is still there.
“We’re a pretty determined bunch, we’ve worked hard and we’ve been close to putting sides away. It just hasn’t gone our way. We haven’t been clinical enough. But the boys have applied themselves well and credit to them, the 23 of them have got their reward tonight. We can still improve, we know that, we didn’t defend as well as we would hope we would, but you can only play what’s in front of you and they’ve done that to the best of their ability tonight.
“The hardcore fans keep turning up and they are excellent for us. It might not be a big hardcore but they certainly make a difference at the end of the day. I think they would have enjoyed tonight, they got their reward for continuing to back us.”
As the media enthused over young backs Rhys Webb and Ashley Beck, Holley emphasised that while the pair did exceptionally well on Friday evening the win was not just about those two:
“They’ve played well all season. We’ve had them in our midst for a while now. They’ve developed nicely. They’ve been patient, they’ve learned, they’ve developed off the field as well as on, and they’ve matured. They are true Ospreys and they played really well tonight, both of them. Ashley showed class tonight. He’s grown in confidence and it’s showing on the field.
“I think Daniel controlled the game well, particularly in the first half, and got us moving, and then you get the likes of Nipper (Matthew Morgan) coming on to carve them up at the end so it was a good balance. I also thought the forwards did well and got their rewards at the setpiece.”
Meanwhile, after his missed out on Friday’s game due to a calf injury, Holley revealed that Ryan Jones should be available for selection next weekend in Biarritz:
“We left a decision on Ryan to the last minute with the citing issues and in the end he just didn’t make it. Hopefully, with the long turnaround now til next Sunday he’ll be available for selection. He was close enough this week to suggest that might be the case."