Joe Schmidt and Leo Cullen anticipate a tough day at the office in tomorrow’s RaboDirect Pro12 final at the RDS, and Ospreys coach Steve Tandy hopes to oblige.
Leinster go into the game as Heineken Cup champions and overwhelming favourites, but Tandy figures they’ll have to work overtime to secure victory against his trophy-hungry side.
Cullen leads a team that includes 13 internationals, but one without talisman Sean O’Brien and possibly Cian Healy, both of whom are injured, and the skipper is worried when noting that the Ospreys did a RaboDirect double over them this season and snatched the title from under their noses at the RDS a couple of seasons ago.
Tandy described it as “a massive occasion for Ospreys rugby”. Leinster, he said, had proved themselves one of the greatest teams ever in European rugby and insisted that recent results would count for nothing.
“It’s all about the day and who handles the pressure the best. We know that we have to improve in certain areas, we were guilty of putting ourselves under unnecessary pressure in the Munster match and that meant we had to rely too heavily on our defence. We don’t want to have to do that on Sunday, we want to try and be more composed and look to dictate territory better.
“We will obviously do our homework and analysis on them but the key thing for us is about our own performance. We need to prepare properly, be thorough, and make sure we are accurate in everything we do. We have to be clinical. If we focus on our own game and the areas that we can control, then we’ll be able to compete and we’ll be in the game.
“It’s going to be a great day, there’s a big Osprey support travelling out to back the cause and we want to put on the kind of performance that will make them proud of the team.”
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