Ospreys coach Sean Holley believes his side’s 15-11 triumph over reigning Magners League champions Munster at Thomond Park could be "a defining moment" for his side.
Having suffered the bitter disappointment of being beaten by a point in the quarter-finals of the Heineken Cup, Holley had to raise his team’s morale for three successive games in Ireland.
The first two of those matches, against Ulster and Leinster, came within the space of four days. The Ospreys took six points from those two fixtures and added a further four in Limerick to round off a whirlwind fortnight since their European exit.
“I am extremely proud of everyone. Who knows it could be a defining moment for us,” admitted Holley. We can move on from here with great resolve.
"We’ve got one game left against the Dragons and we know they won’t make it easy for us. But we will be smarting from our loss at Rodney Parade and our tails are up after this win.”
A bonus point victory over the Dragons in their last fixture of the regular season on the weekend of 7-9 May would guarantee the Ospreys a home draw in the Play-Off semi-finals – and could even clinch them top spot if Leinster fail to beat Edinburgh in their last match.
The final round of matches will feature three games involving teams in the top seven places, all of who have a mathematical chance of qualifying for the Play-Offs. Round 18 sees Leinster host Edinburgh, the Ospreys take on the Dragons and Cardiff Blues entertain Munster.
It promises to be a nail-biting finale to a wonderful season in the Magners League and Saturday night’s result in Limerick, when the Ospreys became the first Welsh side since the Dragons on 12 march, 2004, to win at Thomond Park, has fired the imagination of their skipper Ryan Jones.
“We came here with a job to do and we stuck to our game plan pretty well, which is something we hadn’t done in recent weeks. We all dug deep and we managed to hold out in the end,” said Jones
“The Biarritz match gave us the belief we can mix it with the best teams in Europe. And we are building on that belief. We made fewer mistakes and our defence was very good again.
“We said we wanted to bounce back after the losing to Biarritz and we have got to go on and try to take something out of the season.”