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2000 man Biggar putting team first

Guinness PRO12 Rugby Editor

30 Dec 2016

History maker Dan Biggar has played his part in some memorable Ospreys moments down the years and he’s targeting more after becoming the first man to score 2000 points in the regional rugby era.

The 27-year old outside half passed the significant landmark when he slotted over his fifth and final successful kick in Tuesday’s Christmas derby win over the Scarlets, taking his overall Ospreys tally to 2001 points. Putting that total into context, James Hook is second in the all-time list at the Liberty Stadium, trailing way behind on ‘just’ 796 points.

Reflecting on the achievement as he took time out from training at the Village Hotel the morning after the Scarlets win, where the players spent time in the pool before reviewing their performance, he insisted that, while proud of the achievement, it wasn’t something that was at the forefront of his mind.

“It’s a nice achievement and one that I can be proud of, obviously, but it’s not something to dwell on” said Biggar.

“It’s nice to get it in a big game as well, a derby against the Scarlets, helping us to an important win. Hopefully, there are plenty more points to come.

“What’s been the most pleasing, in my view, is that 2,000 points have at times, been important in the Ospreys winning leagues, winning finals, particularly in the early days.

“That gives the points some meaning, it’s not just accumulating points for the sake of it, it’s helped us do something as a team.”

After picking up league titles with play-off wins over Leinster in Dublin in 2010 and 2012, the latter game seeing Biggar kicking the winning points to cap a remarkable late comeback, the Ospreys have endured their longest fallow period in their short history.

With the fifth anniversary of that memorable day at the RDS looming large this spring, the former Gowerton Comprehensive pupil genuinely believes that his home region are heading in the right direction. He said:

“Anyone who has a long career in professional sport, not just rugby, will experience many highs and lows. We’ve had some great moments as Ospreys and I’d been part of a squad that had won the league twice by the time I was 22.

“These things go in cycles and we’ve experienced some tough times as well. We’ve been on the end of some heartbreaking defeats and suffered some tough seasons but you have to go through those moments to get to the other side.

“We haven’t achieved anything yet this season, there’s a long way to go in all competitions, but what seems to be a big difference this year is the depth we are starting to develop as a squad.

“We’ve had to go through some pain but I think people can now see the light at the end of the tunnel so to speak. People are coming in and out of the team seamlessly, and the competition makes for a good environment.”

With one derby win in the bag, there is another one for the Ospreys this weekend as they head east on New Year’s Day to face Newport Gwent Dragons. Biggar says it’s important the Ospreys follow the Scarlets win with a similar outcome at Rodney Parade.

“I said after the game on Tuesday that if we go up to Newport and slip up against the Dragons then the hard work against the Scarlets is wasted” he continued.

“We dug in well and then controlled the game in the second half. To slip up this weekend would be disappointing.

“It is one game at a time. The Six Nations is only around the corner and we know how that impacts us in terms of call-ups, and it’ll be up to the core squad to carry us through that period. What we are seeing is that core is getting stronger which will only benefit us.

©INPHO/James Crombie

©INPHO/James Crombie

“We can’t get too far ahead of ourselves though, at the moment it is just one game at a time, and about keeping that momentum going, in the league and in European competition.”

Sunday’s game against the Dragons will be Biggar’s 196th game for the Ospreys, moving him ahead of Adam Jones and into fifth spot in the all-time appearance list.

With his 200th game moving ever nearer, and only former Scotland outside half, Dan Parks, ahead of him in the PRO12 all-time points list (the former Glasgow, Connacht and Cardiff Blues man is just 139 ahead of Biggar’s 1443 points), two more significant landmarks loom large for him.

“It’s always nice to achieve something, to get records like that, I suppose, but I’ll go back to what I said at the start” Biggar continued.

“What we’ve got here at the minute is a group of players who aren’t individuals, me included, who aren’t particularly fussed on landmarks.

“Yes, they are landmarks but what’s more pleasing is we are all playing as a team. The milestones that myself and other people are getting are helping the team and that’s the main thing. Hopefully, if I’m hitting those landmarks in means we are having a successful end of season.”

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