Tandy on pre-season opener

Steve Tandy has declared himself "pretty pleased" with how things went in the Ospreys pre-season opener against Clermont Auvergne on Friday night but insists that there is improvement needed as the team prepare for the start of their PRO12 title defence at the end of the month.

A youthful team fronted up strongly against the French giants who begin their own league campaign next weekend, and although the Ospreys were defeated, Tandy said the whole week in Issoire has been a valuable experience.

“It was a good outing for us, very worthwhile all round” the Head Coach insisted.

“The boys have been outstanding all week, they’ve trained hard and it’s been very productive. It’s a great place to come and base ourselves for a training camp, excellent weather and good facilities, and it’s allowed us to get a lot of quality work done before getting a tough workout last night.

“Obviously Clermont were at full strength and were a little bit ahead of us in terms of their pre-season work but it was never about the result for us and I’m happy with how it went. I’m pretty pleased if I’m honest. To see how some young players responded against quality, world-class individuals in a very good team was really pleasing.

“James King was outstanding, Sam Lewis worked really hard as always. Then you’ve got other new young faces getting game time against such a good team and not looking out of place, people like Tom Grabham who had 80 minutes on the wing, and Nathan Edwards and Scott Otten coming on, it was really positive to see them out there,

“It wasn’t about the scoreboard it was about the performance for us, about how we worked together, how the players know their roles, and obviously, about taking another step up in our preparation as we aren’t aiming to peak yet, we are building towards the Treviso game and this was an important part of the plan for us.

“Obviously there is improvement needed in certain areas, that goes without saying. We conceded some sloppy tries out there, which was disappointing so we’ll need to look at that area this week. Overall, it’s been a great experience for the squad, those involved on the night and the international contingent who have shown an excellent attitude, training hard and supporting the boys who were involved in the game. We’ll review last night and identify the weaknesses to ensure we improve for the Bath game.

“We’re all excited about going back to the Liberty Stadium next Saturday. Season tickets have gone fantastically and that hopefully means we’ll have a good crowd for Saturday afternoon rugby. The game will be another step up for us against strong opponents and at this stage I’d expect some of the boys who went to Australia to come into the mix. It’ll be another tough test but will be a good way for us to continue our preparations before a final two week block of hard work in training to ensure we are ready for the opening weekend in Treviso.”

Tickets for the game versus Bath at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday 18th August, KO 3.00pm, are available to buy now at the Liberty Stadium Ticket Office, online at www.ospresyrugby.com/buytickets and via the Ticket Hotline on 0844 815 6665.