Ospreys in a good place
Thu, 27 Dec 2012 08:54
It says everything about where we are
Ospreys coach Steve Tandy felt his team was "in a good place" after their 32-3 demolition of the Scarlets in a Pro12 Welsh derby on Wednesday.
The Scarlets finished with 12 men, as the Ospreys romped to a comfortable win in the Boxing Day showdown at the Liberty Stadium.
The result was never in doubt, as the hosts dominated from start to finish - their advantage at the scrum giving them the early initiative as they raced into an unassailable lead.
There was an early penalty try before second half touch downs for James King and Kahn Fotuali'i, who also grabbed a drop-goal, while Dan Biggar added four penalties and a conversion.
In total, five Scarlets players spent time in the sin bin - a first half yellow for George Earle, before a crazy final 15 minutes that saw Tavis Knoyle and Aled Thomas also yellow carded, while Rob McCusker and Gareth Owen were both red carded in the final five minutes.
Tandy spoke of the "team effort" that saw his side move back into play-off contention, despite failing to collect a bonus point against the 12-man Scarlets in the late stages of a game.
Scarlets, despite the hammering, managed to hang onto second place, but that could change when the remainder of the Round 12 fixtures take place at the weekend.
"It was a dominant forward display, but tactically we were also spot-on," Tandy told the South Wales Evening Post.
"Some of our attacking kicks put us in the right areas to have that forward dominance.
"We just played well throughout - our all-round team performance was outstanding.
"It says everything about where we are that we were doing all we could to keep them out at the end despite having such a big lead.
"We are in a good place at the moment."
McCusker walked for illegal use of the boot, followed minutes later by Owen after an ill-timed tackle on Morgan Allen.
"It was all happening out there at the end and I have not really looked at the incidents," said Tandy.
"That is when the game got a bit frantic and it got all over the shop.
"I thought our discipline was outstanding in defence and we did not give away a lot of penalties.
"We are comfortable without the ball and we have some good defenders. We know the Scarlets have a lot outstanding attack threats."
Fotuali'i continued his rich vein of form as he ran the show with confidence and no little skill.
"Kahn understands the way we want to play and he and Dan Biggar are driving things at the moment," added Tandy, who hopes to keep Fotuali'i after his contract expires in the year.
"We can only do what we can do and everyone is aware of the budgetary constraints.
"It is out of my hands but we would love to keep Kahn and those guys."
Scarlets head coach Simon Easterby was downcast after seeing his side lose their second derby of the year, which meant the South Wales Evening Post Cup stays at the Liberty Stadium.
"I was disappointed to see so many leaving the field to red and yellow cards," he said.
"But I'll have to look at the video before commenting on individual incidents.
"We started poorly and we finished poorly. We've been poor for the last four or five weeks. We have not been playing like a team in second place in the table.
"There is a huge amount of work that needs to be put in for the new year."
|South African news|
|» Smith's next step towards Boks|
|» Spies looks to the Far East|
|» Rugby or life: Choose one|
|» Du Preez out for rest of the year|
|» General Du Preez out of action|