Ospreys will be looking to maintain an unbeaten home record that stretches back fifteen months when local rivals Llanelli Scarlets visit the Liberty Stadium next Tuesday (September 11th, KO 7.35pm) for the first home game of the new campaign.
After kicking off the defence of their Magners League title with a narrow defeat against Cardiff Blues on Friday night, the
The Scarlets were thrashed 50-24 in front of a capacity 20,520 crowd when they last visited, on Boxing Day last year, and despite the absence of a dozen Ospreys who are away on World Cup duty, bosses at the region have revealed that they are anticipating another bumper five figure crowd next week after the Scarlets requested their full allocation of 3,000 tickets for the match.
With the Ospreys boasting over 5,000 season-ticket holders, and reporting brisk early ticket sales, it means that more than 9,000 seats have already been snapped up, and supporters are being advised not to leave it until the last minute to buy their tickets.
Ospreys Managing Director Roger Blyth commented:
"â¬ÅAny Ospreys/Scarlets match is a fantastic occasion with local bragging rights at stake, and even though this one is only the second fixture of the season, it looks like being no different to the norm and another big crowd will be present. The Scarlets have requested an allocation of tickets in line with Magners League competition rules, and when you add in season ticket holders and early sales, then we are already looking at a crowd approaching 10,000.
"â¬ÅThat is a very healthy figure indeed given the circumstances around the early season fixture, and with more than a week to go until the game, we are expecting that figure to rise considerably by match-day. I"â¬â¢m sure that many supporters haven"â¬â¢t even thought about the game yet, what with summer holidays and the like, but with the Magners League season now underway again and also, the Rugby World Cup no doubt whetting people"â¬â¢s appetite for live rugby, we expect business to be brisk in the Liberty Stadium Ticket Office in the build up to the big match."â¬Â
The Ospreys success last season was built on an enviable home record, which saw the region go through the whole of the 2006-07 campaign without losing a single match at the Liberty Stadium. With their new home now considered one of the toughest places to get a result in European rugby, the Ospreys are unbeaten at the Liberty Stadium in their last eighteen fixtures and have tasted defeat just once in twenty-five home games, dating back to December 2005.
As skipper Brent Cockbain says, it is a proud record that they don"â¬â¢t intend surrendering anytime soon, not least to their biggest rivals:
"â¬ÅThere"â¬â¢s no doubting what an enormous asset the Liberty Stadium has been to us, you just have to look at our fantastic record at home over the last year and a half to appreciate that. We"â¬â¢ve had some great wins and fantastic matches here over this period, plenty of top sides have arrived in hope and left empty handed, and the place is definitely building up a reputation in rugby circles as a real fortress.
"â¬ÅA record of one defeat at home in twenty five matches, and fifteen months without defeat in all competitions bears comparison to any side in European rugby and we want to keep the unbeaten stretch going as long as possible. The Scarlets have visited the Liberty Stadium twice during this twenty-five-match period and were comprehensively beaten on both occasions so we know that they will be even more fired up than ever for this one. I"â¬â¢m sure it"â¬â¢s going to be a cracker, as these derby matches always are, and once again it looks as there"â¬â¢s going to be another huge crowd packed into the stadium.
"â¬ÅI"â¬â¢m sure that the Scarlets will fancy their chances when they look at the long list of players that we will be missing because of the World Cup, but the list of players who are available still boasts an incredible depth of experience, with four British Lions, two All Blacks, a South African international and an additional six Welsh caps, as well as some of Welsh rugby"â¬â¢s brightest young talent. One thing is for sure, and that is, that whatever side is selected for the game, the unbeaten record won"â¬â¢t be surrendered lightly."â¬Â
Under the new match-pricing structure introduced this season, the Scarlets match is a Level One fixture, with adult prices starting at £16. Supporters are reminded that there is a £2 supplement on all tickets purchased on a match-day and are encouraged to purchase early. Members are reminded that they are entitled to a 10% discount on ticket purchases. They can be bought at the Liberty Stadium Ticket Office, via the Ticket Hotline on 08700 400 004, or online at http://www.ospreysrugby.com/