After being elevated to the three man coaching team for November's two LV= Cup games, Skills Coach Gruff Rees was pleased with the attitude and application shown by the Ospreys in the 46-13 win over Leicester.
Speaking straight after the game, he said:
“It was an exciting evening, we saw some well taken tries and overall, we are pretty satisfied. We got a little bit loose in the second half perhaps, the game didn’t flow as well, but credit to Leicester as well, they had lots of young boys out there. You know what you get with them, they were physical and they battled to the end. There are a few boys in our dressing room with bruises but they can feel quite pleased with themselves.
“We have planned for this period, we know that we will have a large contingent of international players missing. The group showed that they’ve been training together, we’ve worked hard with these players and it’s pleasing to see the integration of senior and youngsters go so well tonight.
“We have got a strong attacking intent and we’ve worked hard on skill levels before contact and in contact, getting the ball away, and to see young players like Justin Tipuric, Ashley Beck, Kristian Phillips and Matthew Morgan show some of those skills that we’ve practiced was quite pleasing.
“We’ve asked this group to show that they can play decent rugby even without our senior internationals. Before now we’ve seen young players come in and just be happy to wear the shirt and think that they are just a means to an end. They know now that they’ve got to perform when they come in and put the heat on the senior boys. That’s really important for us and this competition gives us the vehicle to do it.
“We showed positive intent for this competition, and part of that was to play this game here, it’s really important for this part of the region. You could see the cheers and the support we had tonight, not only when we were on the front foot but also when we had to try and hold Leicester out on a number of occasions, they were really behind us.
“The players are grateful for that, and hopefully, by coming here, we are giving something back to this area of the region which allows them to really feel a part of what we are doing at the Ospreys.
“We’re pleased in the context of the competition. Although we’re not necessarily in control of our own destiny, we can come back in January with this group and have another go.”