Ospreys head coach Steve Tandy gave youth a chance in the LV= Cup on Friday, and was delighted with the maturity his greenhorn side showed.
Robbed of ten players on international duty with Wales there was an unfamiliar feel to the reigning RaboDirect PRO12 champions but they withstood a Gloucester fightback to seal a 33-27 win courtesy of a last-gasp score by Morgan Allen.
Unbeaten in their last five in the RaboDirect PRO12 Tandy was forced to shuffle his pack at the Liberty stadium as the likes of Nicky Thomas, Sam Davies (son of Gloucester director of rugby Nigel) and Rhodri Hughes were all given their chance to impress.
And impress they did in a thrilling game that saw the Ospreys throw away a 13-point lead before sealing it at the death, much to the delight of Tandy.
“It was fantastic from the boys, and we showed real maturity at the end,” he said.
“The way they played is testament to our age grade system and how we put everything in place from a young age group, they get some very good coaching.
“We had 18 and 19-year-olds like Nicky Thomas, Rhodri Hughes, Sam Davies, Tom Habberfield, Nathan Edwards, just to name a few.
“To come from a score behind to finish the game as they did showed real signs of maturity – the way they represented the Ospreys was something special.
“We’ve given all the players the homework and they’ve bought into it. One thing we did ask for was effort and commitment and we got that.
“I think the LV= is a great competition. We showed ambition, maturity and patience, that was fantastic and I’m really proud of the boys.
“I thought the end might have been a little more relaxing, but I thought we got ourselves in position, we brought a couple of young guys on who I thought were fantastic.
“I think it’s even more of a learning curve for these boys to come back from a penalty try to score in the last minute. The maturity for me was excellent and to get that try was outstanding.”