Tuesday 6 December 2016

Ospreys: Nothing to fear at Thomond

Published 18/05/2015 | 02:30

Fionn Carr, Connacht, is tacled by Ospreys' Rhys Webb, Nicky Smith and Dan Baker. Guinness PRO12, Round 22, Connacht v Ospreys, Sportsground, Galway on Saturday (Ray Ryan / SPORTSFILE)
Fionn Carr, Connacht, is tacled by Ospreys' Rhys Webb, Nicky Smith and Dan Baker. Guinness PRO12, Round 22, Connacht v Ospreys, Sportsground, Galway on Saturday (Ray Ryan / SPORTSFILE)

Ospreys scrum-half Rhys Webb says his side have nothing to fear ahead of their Guinness Pro12 play-off at Thomond Park on Saturday.

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Munster have been installed as 7/4 favourites to win the league after securing a home semi-final thanks to their big victory over the Dragons and a helping hand from Connacht, who denied Ospreys a four-try bonus.

Ulster will return to Glasgow for their semi-final on Friday night after they came away empty handed from Scotland, and coach Neil Doak has huge concerns over the fitness of second-row Franco van der Merwe who limped off during Saturday's defeat that left the Warriors top.

An all-Irish final remains a possibility if Ulster can buck the trend and become the first team to win a Pro12 semi-final away from home, but the Ospreys are backing themselves to repeat their regular-season win at Thomond Park.

"We have won out there this season and we'll take a lot of positives from that," said Webb.

"They are a class team and we know it's going to be a really tough game. But I don't see why we can't win. We are playing some good rugby at the moment.

"People will write us off at their peril. Everyone writes us off, don't they? That's the thing that gets the boys going. We don't mind being underdogs. With the amount of big knock-out games they have been involved in, it will be difficult, but I am certainly looking forward to it."

After finishing seventh, Connacht will face Gloucester in the European Champions Cup play-off on Sunday, with the winners taking on the seventh-placed club in France, with Johnny Sexton's Racing Metro currently in that spot after their draw with La Rochelle on Saturday.

Meanwhile, Webb was crowned Players' Player of the Season at last night's Pro12 awards ceremony.

Sam Hidalgo-Clyne (Edinburgh) won the Young Player of the Year with Glasgow's Gregor Townsend named best coach.

Craig Gilroy ensured there was an Irish winner with his try againstScarlets voted as the Try of the Year.

Pro12 play-offs

Friday, 7.45: Glasgow Warriors v Ulster, Scotsoun;

Saturday, 2.30: Munster v Ospreys, Thomond Park;

Champions Cup play-offs

Sunday, 3.30: Gloucester Rugby v Connacht Rugby, Kingsholm, 3.30;

Sunday, May 31, 5.0: Winner v Seventh placed Top 14 team;

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