"This is what the play-offs are about"

The Ospreys travel to Limerick this weekend after a last gasp win in Italy last Friday secured a play-off place and a trip to Thomond Park to face Munster, and hooker Huw Bennett says that the team is looking forward to what promises to be a huge challenge.

A late James Hook penalty was enough to ensure an Ospreys win over Aironi, allowing them to leapfrog Cardiff Blues into the fourth and final play-off spot, and Bennett insists that despite leaving it to the final four minutes of the season to clinch a semi-final position the Ospreys are worth their place.

“This is what the play-offs are about, it’s what they bring to the Magners League season”

he commented.

“By hook or by crook we got there in the latter part of the season. We didn’t get there the way we would have wanted, we definitely could have made it easier for ourselves, but we are there now.

“It’s not about the last month or six weeks where we haven’t performed well, it’s about the whole season and we’ve just about done enough to get into the top four. We need to pick our game up now from where it’s been the last few weeks and really look to make an impact in the play-offs.

“Last year we deserved to get a home semi because we were more consistent right across the season, this year it’s been a different story which is why we have to go away to Munster.”

Munster will provide the Ospreys with familiar opposition, with the two teams having met on four occasions already this season, and whilst they will, as always, provide a formidable challenge, Bennett says that the Ospreys are looking forward to the contest:

“We’ve been there plenty of times, we won there last year, so it’s not as though we are going into the unknown. We’ve played them plenty of times this season. Everyone knows the size of the challenge that Munster pose, it’s a must win game and we are going to have to give everything. It’ll be difficult, but it’s exciting and we are really looking forward to the challenge.

“As a player you give 100 per cent all the time, that’s been the case here at the Ospreys, but results haven’t gone our way lately. It’s been frustrating for everyone, but now it’s a different story, with a different kind of pressure. It’s cup rugby now, and it’s all about getting a result on the day, getting that one win, and that’s what we’ll be aiming for at Thomond on the weekend.

“We should have performed better last Friday, that goes without saying, but it was never going to be easy. If you look at their recent results at home, they’ve tended to be tight games, and they are proud bunch. Playing at home on the last day of the season they would have wanted to end on a high, they would have been up for the game.

“From our point of view it was very frustrating that things weren’t coming off, but it was one of those games where we played badly but still came away with the win. We didn’t do it pretty, we aren’t happy with our performance but we got the result and we got ourselves into the semi-final and we can take something from that. We can look forward to this weekend’s game now, the boys can focus on that and will work hard to make sure we do ourselves and our supporters justice.”