Despite their delight at inflicting a first home defeat of the season on the Scarlets, there was a sense of realism among the Ospreys players as they switch their attention to Europe for the next fortnight.
Skipper Alun Wyn Jones, who scored the crucial second try, warned his team-mates that they will need to step up another notch for next Saturday’s game in Toulon. Speaking the media shortly after the final whistle at Parc y Scarlets, he said:
“It’s good for us to win a tight game like that going into Heineken Cup week. I think we lost the battle of the kicking game in the first half, we probably weren’t that smart and tried to play too much rugby when I suppose we should have just put it down there.
“The second half we were more direct. The back row carried really well, JC and Ryan especially, and that put us on the front foot. We were able to shorten the defensive line and then go wide. We can be happy but obviously there’s a lot to work on, which is a good place to be in a Heineken Cup week. We’re not the complete object at the moment but we’re working towards it and hopefully we’ll peak in time for Toulon.
“The management have given a lot of the boys an extended pre-season due to previous workloads, so it’s always going to be a little bit slow adjusting etc, but we are there or thereabouts. This week we’ll work on removing the inadequacies from our game and hopefully, we can become the full article
“I’m pleased to score, obviously, but I’d rather not score and we win by more. It was definitely our toughest game down here, I said in the week that it is a big scalp for the Scarlets because these days we represent the likes of Swansea, Neath and Bridgend, three of their traditional big rivals. That adds to the game and I think we do need local derby matches in modern day rugby because it’s a great occasion.”
Shane Williams echoed the thoughts of his captain, saying:
“It’s very pleasing to win, it was a tough game and it was all Scarlets in the first half certainly. We didn’t know what hit us in the first 40 minutes, to be fair to the Scarlets they came out full of fire and made it very difficult for us.
“We addressed it at half time, went out for the second half and started playing some rugby. The Scarlets are side on form at the moment and they played very well.
“It’s great to win the game before beginning our European campaign. We’ve got another tough game away from next week against Toulon, it’s going to be a tough old group for us, and a tough old season. But if we can win games like that, it was quite ugly in the end, away from home, then it does give us a bit of momentum going into Europe. We know we can play better, we’ll have to next week.”