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Tandy demanding Ospreys response after 'bitter defeat'

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Steve Tandy

Steve Tandy

SPORTSFILE

Steve Tandy

"A lot of our squad are injured and then we've got a fair few away on international duty but it's no different to any other season," says Ospreys coach Steve Tandy, "we're always thin and I suppose the positive is that we provide so many internationals."

Tandy assesses the club's situation in a reasoned manner but one can't help but feel that under the calm exterior is a sense of frustration that he simply must learn to cope with it.

After winning seven out of seven of their Pro12 games, Ospreys fell to their first defeat of the season in Belfast last weekend and arrive in Ireland for the second consecutive week, looking to bounce back.

The RDS has often been a happy hunting ground for the Welsh outfit but Leinster have made it a fortress in recent times.

Their only 'home' defeat of the season came of course at the Aviva Stadium against Munster and, after last weekend's results, neither side come into this one in form.

Despite the defeat to Ulster last Saturday, Tandy maintained that his side won't do anything different in their approach to tomorrow's clash as he believed that it was his side's own mistakes that was their undoing at the Kingspan Stadium.

"Same again. We need to prepare ourselves as best we can," he said.

"Obviously missing around 23 guys doesn't really help. The Irish boys get the majority of theirs (internationals) back but they'll rest a few. It's been a tough autumn season for them as well.

"We prepared well for Ulster and we were bitterly disappointed that we didn't get something out of the game.

"We threw it away because we felt it was our own undoing in that latter stages but you've got to give credit to the guys after being 18-3 down at half-time.

"They put the mistakes they made to bed and clawed their way back into it," he added.

Tandy's reference to Leinster being afforded the luxury of being able to welcome back their internationals is an interesting one and could perhaps be read as a sly dig at the Welsh Rugby Union.

The WRU's issues have been well documented and Tandy insisted that his side must be prepared for whatever and whoever Leinster throw at them tomorrow.

"I think in years gone by they've given some of their internationals a break but they'll want to get others up to speed with the Champions Cup coming up next week.

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"We don't know who they'll put out but, look, we can only concentrate on ourselves and be prepared as best we can come Saturday.

"If you offered me seven wins and one down at the start of the season, I'd definitely have taken it.

"We've won seven games with a very young group and hopefully we can get the momentum going again for Leinster," he added.

With both sides facing into crucial Champions Cup periods, 'momentum' will have been the buzz word in each camp this week.

Ospreys face back-to-back assignments against Johnny Sexton's Racing Metro but first they must attempt to manoeuvre their way past the side who he will rejoin next season.

Irish Independent