A 10th straight win over the Blues has set the Ospreys up for a grandstand end to the season with Champions Cup qualification at stake and Steve Tandy says his team “aren’t going to give up on it"
- Champions Cup qualifications hopes go to the final day of the PRO12 season next weekend, when Ulster visit the Liberty Stadium (Saturday 3pm KO)
- Bonus point win over the Blues means Ospreys can still overhaul four point deficit on Munster, who host the Scarlets at the same time
- Ospreys now unbeaten against the Blues since the end of 2010 and have lost just two of their last 26 PRO12 Welsh derbies
The six try victory at the Principality Stadium on Saturday means that the Ospreys now sit in seventh place, four behind Munster in the final qualification spot, who face the Scarlets at Thomond Park next weekend while the Ospreys welcome Ulster to the Liberty.
A Scarlets win over in Ireland would open the door for the Ospreys to pip Munster at the last hurdle, as long as they win their own game in Swansea and, while acknowledging that the region’s current seventh place is nothing to celebrate, Tandy insisted that there was plenty to be pleased about in the Judgement Day success.
“If I’m honest, it’s not where we want to be in the season” said Tandy.
“It’s a pretty special jersey to wear and I think they epitomised that today. It was far from perfect but ultimately it was a really good result. It was six tries to two, a huge effort considering there are 13, 14 boys on the sidelines, a lot of senior players, British Lions and international players on the injured list.
“This group, whoever comes in and represents the jersey, they do a fine job of it. You look at the end today, Brendon is on the wing, Sam Parry is playing in the back row, and I think it’s a huge effort from us.
“We’ve got to get more consistent with our performances but we’ve got to enjoy this moment. It’s given us an outside chance and, like we said a few weeks ago, we aren’t going to give up on it while it’s mathematically possible.
“Everybody has been writing us off, even coming into this game we were probably an underdog with a lot of people predicting the Blues would win given their recent form. There is an exceptional attitude around the group.”
Tandy highlighted his team’s positive approach to the game, which saw them turning down kickable penalties from the very first minutes in search of a bonus point win, an approach that, eventually, paid handsome dividends.
“Our intent was good throughout” he said.
“We weren’t interested in going for three points, we wanted to keep the ball in play. I thought we had a couple of opportunities early doors, I thought we attacked the game and, coming in at half time losing, I think we didn’t deserve to be when you look at the possession, how much ball we had. I’d have liked us to be a bit smarter with it.
“We were calm behind the posts then at 17-7, we felt we would tire the Blues and knew we had a decent bench to come on to keep that energy up. “
Tandy confirmed that the Ospreys are not only unlikely to see any of their injured players come back into contention for the big game against Ulster, but that the list of likely absentees has grown longer.
“We probably won’t and we’ve probably got a couple more. Hanno’s picked up a bump, young Adam Beard as well, so we’re going to assess those. We’ll makes sure they get checked out and looked after properly and we’ll asses them in the next 48 hours. We won’t get anyone back so whoever comes in, we’ll have to find a way.”