Ospreys bosses have paid tributes to the thousands of fans who headed east up the M4 to Twickenham to cheer the region to success in the EDF Energy Cup Final against Leicester Tigers on Saturday.
OSPREYS SAY THANKS TO FANS FOR TWICKERS SUPPORT Over 10,000 Ospreys supporters flocked to the home of English rugby, with more than 2,000 travelling in a convoy of coaches from the Liberty Stadium. The Welsh contingent certainly made their presence felt amongst the crowd of 65,756, with the sounds of Bread of Heaven and Hymns and Arias rising from the stands during the second half as the Ospreys became the first region to secure Anglo-Welsh silverware. Andrew Bishop and Alun-wyn Jones bagged a try each and James Hook kicked thirteen points as the Ospreys triumphed 23-6, gaining revenge for their defeat at the hands of the Tigers in last year's final. Speaking after the match, Ospreys Managing Director Roger Blyth said that it was a momentous day for all Ospreys supporters, and he thanked those who made the journey. He said: "It was a tremendous occasion and a great day for the Ospreys that everyone present will remember for a long time. I'm delighted for everybody involved at the Ospreys, players, coaches and staff, as it is a reward for all their hard work, but I'm particularly pleased for the thousands of supporters who made the trip and helped to create a fantastic atmosphere. We've said on countless occasions now how much we value the tremendous support that we have, and that the players really do appreciate the backing that they seem to receive at every game, home or away, so it is great for them to be able to celebrate some silverware. Once again they travelled in huge numbers and made themselves heard, and the scenes at the end were fantastic. It was clear to see from the players reaction to the ovation they got at the end of the game how much the support means to them, and I felt that it was also clear that the fans knew that. We've come a long way in less than five years and we are still growing, but one thing is for sure, and that is, that days like Saturday can only help to grow the support base still further." Ospreys skipper Ryan Jones echoed those sentiments, saying: "I'm a proud man at the moment, proud to be captain of the Ospreys and proud to be able to lift the EDF Energy Cup in front of such magnificent support. We could hear them right the way through the match, they were like our 16th man, lifting us at times when it was getting a bit tough out there, but it wasn't until after the final whistle, when we doing a lap of honour that we could really appreciate how many of them were there. That was when it really hit home, and I'd like to thank them on behalf of all the squad for getting behind us so vocally once again. Wherever we go, whoever we are playing, we know that our fans will be there in numbers and as a squad we all really do appreciate the effort and expense they go to week in, week out to show their support for the Ospreys and we're delighted that we could give them something to celebrate on Saturday." Photo courtesy of 'Dragon Tales Rugby' (http://www.dragontalesrugby.com/)