Steve Tandy was refusing to get carried away after watching the Ospreys defeat Saracens at the HAC on Thursday evening, warning that the result needs to be kept in “appropriate context”.
It was a satisfying run-out for the Ospreys, outscoring the opposition by five tries to one, but Tandy was not going over the top as he reflected on his team’s performance thirty minutes or so after the final whistle.
“Overall, I’d say that it was a pretty reasonable night’s work for us” was his considered verdict.
“You’ve got to keep things in appropriate context, we know that Saracens are a little bit further behind than us, in terms of their pre-season, because the season starts later in England this year. We know we were more ‘rugby ready’ than they were.
“There were some good moments though, there were some positives about what we did, but just like we didn’t get carried away when we lost 39-5 here last year, we are certainly not getting too carried away by winning tonight.
“We got what we wanted out of the night, which was important. We’ve got to tidy up our lineout, there were a couple of set piece issues that we need to improve on going to Ulster next Friday, but I thought that some of our movement, some of the attacking patterns were good and we scored some nice tries.
“Our defence was a positive, how we got off the line, but we know that it’s going to get a lot harder for us. We’ve got one more, tough, training week ahead of us and we’ll need to build on this, work on the areas where we weren’t quite there.
“The third quarter in particular was tough for us but you want that test, to see how we respond to pressure. I think we got a little bit too excited tonight, at 19-3 we started to move it too much, but we took the warning and managed to start again. That was pleasing for me as we didn’t panic when they were enjoying a good spell.”
With attention now turning to the opening rounds of the new Guinness PRO12 campaign, and a trip to Belfast next weekend to face Ulster before Munster are the first side to visit the Liberty (Sunday 13th September, 2.20pm KO), Tandy insisted that there is still plenty of work to be done if the Ospreys are to start the campaign positively.
“There were a lot of positives for us but we can’t lose sight of the fact that Saracens are at a different stage of pre-season to us” he repeated.
“They did put out a formidable team who really provided a contest, but we have to take the game in context for what it is.
“We’ll worry about our own house and make sure we prepare thoroughly for what will be a couple of very different challenges to this, a Friday night in the Kingspan and Munster at the Liberty the following Sunday.
“They are huge games for us so early in the season and we know the importance of getting a good start to the campaign. Going to Kingspan at any time is a huge ask given the strength in depth they have, with a big and passionate crowd we know that it’ll be stacked against us, so we’ll focus on that and prepare well, starting from Sunday morning.
“We will need to be at our very best in both of those games. We have a lot of young guys involved who are still learning about the sport, and this is an important stage of their development now, so we have to make sure that our prep is absolutely spot on to go to Ulster and then face Munster at the Liberty.”