Ospreys Head Coach Steve Tandy praised the effort and attitude of his players as they bounced back from defeat in Edinburgh to secure an impressive derby victory over Cardiff Blues at the Liberty Stadium on Friday evening.
The Ospreys led from inside the first 10 minutes, putting in a professional performance full of spirit and character to secure what was, in the end, a comfortable win over their rivals from just up the M4.
Speaking to the press post-match, Tandy was clearly proud of the showing, and of the support they’d received on a cold night at the start of another international weekend.
“I’m really pleased” said Tandy.
“I think the effort within this group is unbelievable. Even though we were disappointed not to get even a point up in Edinburgh last week, which I think we did deserve overall, you never questioned the effort in this group, and the talent. I think it says something about us that the well documented injuries we’ve got and the international call-ups, everyone is talking about it, yet we can put a team on the field that can play like we did, score three tries and be disappointed not to get a fourth.
“That’s testament to the group and the effort they put in week to week. They’re a pleasure to coach and they are true Ospreys, they never know when they are beaten and never, ever, give in.
“We probably had enough field position throughout the game, and that’s not being disrespectful to the Blues because I thought they worked their socks off tonight, to have gone for the bonus point. When you get into that two score lead it’s something we maybe could have done a little bit better, but that’s me probably being a little bit greedy if I’m honest.
“I’m really pleased for the group, and I’m really pleased for the crowd. I think with the scheduling of the game, with the international and us playing on the Friday night before Wales, it’s really something that the crowd were outstanding. The boys really responded to them and vice versa.
“I can’t control the scheduling, I just want to prepare the team as best I can, and I’m just really pleased with the way things went for us on and off the field tonight. We know that we want huge crowds for these derby matches, the Boxing Day match against the Scarlets is going really well, and the scheduling is something that has to be looked at, because these guys thrive on big crowds and big occasions. It’s something we are looking for, and as a business, we need those crowds.
“That’s taking nothing away from the crowd that was here tonight and the volume of noise they created, it’s been great. I think in fairness the boys put on some decent rugby tonight and the crowd did respond to that.
“A good mention needs to go to Cai coming in, he’s had just two sessions with us and he’s put in an outstanding performance in fairness to the boy. James King stood out as well. If I’m honest, Kingy never has a bad game. He will be an international six, he’s playing five for us tonight, and that’s all about the versatility in the group and the commitment to the cause. He doesn’t want to be a second row but he makes a huge effort for the team. His lineout work and I’m not exaggerating is world class. That’s testament to the lift, and to the work that Humph puts in, it’s something we’re really proud of.
“Again, he’s another young guy that’s coming through and then you’ve got others like Morgan Allen who came on and made an impact, Lloyd Peers another youngster. We’re really proud to keep producing young players.
“There will be a bit of hurt along the way, a few indifferent performances, but the one thing that as a player and as a coach that you want is the attitude that you never know when you’re beaten, and this group has got it in abundance.”