Man-of-the-match Ryan Jones hails team performance that secured derby day victory for the Ospreys over Cardiff Blues at the Liberty Stadium.
After playing a pivotal role as the Ospreys got 2012 off to a victorious start with a five point defeat of their Welsh rivals on New Year’s Day, the all-action Jones said he was relieved to get back to winning ways and pleased with the manner of the success.
“It was a big win for us after we’ve had a few disappointing results” he told the media post-match.
“We’re bitterly disappointed at the way results have gone and that’s what you’re judged on. We pushed Saracens and the Scarlets close but we just didn’t manage to close the game out. It was important for us to just get that win, to get some belief back. There’s been a great buzz in the camp and the boys have really fronted up over the last few weeks but it’s that reward going into in 2012 now.
“It was pretty fierce like all derbies, there hasn’t been too much rugby played in the last two weekends, but that’s what these encounters always are, big physical battles. It was pretty intense when ball was in play, and I think our physicality just saw us come out on top in the end. We were a bit nervous towards the end I think but the boys did well. It was a team performance, you’ve just got to look at the bench and see the likes of Duncan, Joe and Dan. They are great players and they carried us home.
“The Blues tried to play a bit of rugby and you’d expect that, they’ve got world class backs and they are fantastic with ball in hand. It’s very testing when you are defending against them and we were delighted to be able to keep them far enough away from our try-line that we were able to limit the damage to kicks. We came in at half-time and we knew that if we kept going with more of the same, more of that discipline, it would go our way.
“Matthew did excellently well early on and then Dan came on and showed that maturity and confidence he’s gathered over the last few years. It’s a great asset to have within a squad, either way you play, whoever you start or bring on. We seem to have this fascination with tens here in Wales and we’ve got that conversation going on now at the Ospreys and that’s great for us, because it’s a team game and we need that competition.
“In these sort of games though, when they’re not open and there aren’t too many chances it comes down to simple things like having a strong scrum, a good setpiece to ensure you can get and keep your fair share of possession. It allows you to dominate territory and we showed at the end we have what it takes to close the game out with decisive penalties that wound the clock down.”