Head Coach Steve Tandy couldn't contain his pride in the young flock of Ospreys who caught the eye in an impressive win at a rain sodden Liberty Stadium on Friday evening.
Leading with under 10 minutes left on the clock, the Ospreys suffered a late wobble as Gloucester snatched the initiative and seemed set to head back across the Severn Bridge with the win only to see the hosts come thundering back with a matchwinning score right at the death.
Although it was tight, Tandy told the press after the final whistle that he felt it was a deserved win.
“It was probably a little bit more nailbiting than I would’ve liked” he laughed.
“We’d built a lead and if we didn’t come away from the spoils I would have been disappointed for the group.
“Having Nicky Thomas, Rhodri Hughes, Tom Habberfield, Sam Davies and Nathan Edwards on the field for that final play of the game, and the maturity the team has shown to build for that score was the icing on the cake. I think it’s testament to the hard work that is being done every day of the week by lots and lots of people here, and the age grade development structures that have been put in place here to bring these guys through. We thoroughly deserved the win in fairness.
“Conditions were atrocious at times and I thought we played the game pretty well. I thought we managed the conditions and we were really patient. We played in the rights areas and we worked on that all week. The boys really bought into the way we wanted to play. We lacked a little bit of discipline in the first half and we will have to learn a lot from the tries we conceded, but there are a hell of a lot of positives to take out of this game.
“It’s a real learning curve for some of these guys. As well as the ones I’ve named coming off the bench you’ve got Marc Thomas and Will Price making their first starts, Lloyd Peers, Tom Grabham and Ben John with only a handful of appearances, Matthew Dwyer his second start, so it’s something to be really positive about. It would have hurt if we’d lost this, but win or lose we’ll go away and learn from this.
“We’ll scour the tapes of the game and there will be things to improve on, but there were a lot of positives on and off the pitch. I thought our supporters were amazing on a cold and wet night, they really got behind the team and that means a lot, especially to young guys like these. I got a bit carried away myself at the end. I know how much it means to everyone in the group, having such a young team, it’s a real special night for us.
“There’s one thing that’s a given when you wear the Ospreys shirt and that’s you chase hard and you don’t leave anything out on the field, which I thought sums up the effort from everyone involved tonight.”