| 19.9°C Dublin

Williams hails day he'll 'never forget'

THERE was much delight in the Ospreys' camp as they snatched their second RaboDirect PRO12 title in three years thanks to Shane Williams' late converted try in a 31-30 victory over Leinster.

Williams was thrilled to be retiring on a winning note after his 15-year professional career ended with a two-try haul which inspired the Ospreys to a record fourth league success.

"I enjoy success of course like anybody else. The one you remember is the latest one and this for me is a great way for me to finish," admitted the 35-year-old winger. "I am very proud of the fact that I am associated with the Ospreys. We have had our ups and downs and there has been a lot of change in the ranks, with a lot of players leaving the region.

"For us to stick at it the way we have this season it's a compliment to the guys. I will never forget this day."

The victory seemed to be getting away from the Ospreys when Heineken Cup champions Leinster took a 17-9 half-time lead and Isa Nacewa's second try then pushed them 30-21 in front.

But the Welsh outfit, who finished second in the table, bounced back superbly to stun the RDS crowd with a 10-point spurt in the final 10 minutes.

Young out-half Dan Biggar took on the mantle of match-winner as, having already kicked 14 points, he coolly converted Williams' 78th-minute try to edge the Ospreys home.


Their head coach Steve Tandy praised his players' character. "I think it is testament to the team - the whole group and backroom staff and everyone involved in the organisation - but especially the team," he said.

"We probably thought we were out of the game today, but the guys dug deep. Some things were a bit frantic out there, but we stuck with what we were trying to achieve. I think it is great for the Ospreys and what a great way to finish the season."

Yellow cards for Heinke van der Merwe and Nathan White, along with an early injury to fellow prop Mike Ross, hampered the Irish province as they fell to their third successive league final defeat, just eight days after they retained the Heineken Cup.