Blues will bring out the best in champs

Guinness PRO12 Editor

31 Dec 2010


News, Ospreys

Today’s mouthwatering clash with Cardiff Blues will bring out the best in Magners League Champions the Ospreys according to head coach Sean Holley.

The triple Celtic kings travel to the Welsh capital this afternoon for a second successive local derby following last weekend’s stunning 60-point mauling of the Scarlets in Swansea.

And with today’s match up all set to be a hugely physical and hard-fought affair, Holley is convinced his men will rise to the challenge.

“We tend to raise our game for these big derby matches,” Holley told the Western Mail.

“These kind of games seem to bring the best out in our players. They are very meaningful to the group.

“Because they are almost like trial matches, the personal battles tend to come to the fore. The international coaches will be there and there are one-on-one match-ups all over the field.

“It’s good for people like Dan Biggar, Andrew Bishop, Paul James and Richard Hibbard, these sort of fellas. There are positions on the international stage to play for and I always look forward to the individual contests in these games.”

The Ospreys arrive in Cardiff in good form having beaten Munster at the Liberty Stadium in the Heineken Cup before disposing of the Scarlets in ruthless fashion.

After a slow start to the season, the champions now sit second in the Magners League table, the same spot in which they finished last season’s regular campaign.

Ospreys forwards coach and former Wales skipper Jonathan Humphreys echoes this viewpoint.

Another impressive victory this afternoon would see the Ospreys move at least seven points clear of the Blues, with assistant coach Jonathan Humphreys insisting that it’s games like these that every professional player relishes more than any other.

“All our players want to be involved in the derbies, just as the fans want to be there to enjoy the special atmosphere,” added Humphreys.

“It harks back to old school values and we are looking forward to what we anticipate will be a pretty ferocious contest.”