Ospreys focused on Italian job

Wed, 02 Jan 2013 10:34
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Jonathan Humphreys has warned his Ospreys players they need to stay focused on the Pro12 game against Zebre on Friday.

Jonathan Humphreys has warned his Ospreys players they need to stay focused on the Pro12 game against Zebre on Friday following their 14-3 victory over Newport Gwent Dragons on Monday.

The forwards coach insists the Italian outfit represent a stiff test for Ospreys despite Zebre failing to register a win in their 12 league games so far this season.

"We've got a real short turnaround now, it's a real massive game for us on Friday night," said Humphreys. "Zebre possess a physical challenge, they gave us a real tough game out there earlier in the season and we are expecting the same again on Friday.

"We won't be taking them lightly at all. It's important that we keep our momentum going with some big challenges, including Europe, ahead of us.

"It's important now that we don't undo the good work of the last month or so by not going into this game with the right focus, and although we've only got a few days to prepare, we'll be drilling that into the players.

"We have enjoyed some big crowds and great atmospheres at the Liberty over the last few weeks and we'd love the same again on Friday. It's not on TV and there's a great ticket deal available so hopefully we'll have plenty of fans there backing the cause again."

The Ospreys edged a tightly-fought contest with the Dragons at Rodney Parade, with Humphrey thrilled at how his side came through the game with man of the match Ryan Jones leading the way.

"It wasn't pretty by any means but I had no doubt that we had the ability to do that in us," said Humphreys. "We kept our discipline, didn't give away too many penalties and we managed to contain them.

"First half they dominated field position which enabled them to look a little dangerous. We made some adjustments at half time and I thought as a team we looked in total control after the break.

"In the second half we managed to control the field a bit better than we had in the first, which allowed us to put quite a bit of pressure on them resulting in a cheap try for us.

"The other seven or eight times I've been down here it's been the other way around so we're happy with that. We understood how difficult it would be coming down here, especially in these conditions, we're just delighted to be going home with a win.

"We're really happy with where we are now as a group, as a squad, there's an excellent feeling about the squad. This has been a good experience for the youngsters in the group tonight that will benefit them in the long run.

"We made some unforced errors in the first half and in the past here that has affected us. Thankfully that wasn't the case today."

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Team P W D L Pts
Leinster 22 16 0 6 73
Connacht 22 15 0 7 73
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