Opposition View: Ospreys

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This week’s Opposition View sees me welcome Swansea-based rival @ospreysrugbyfan to the blog to give us an in-depth look at Ospreys before we take them on at the Liberty Stadium on Friday night…

How would you sum up your 2015/16 season overall?

W 11  D 1  L 10  PF 490  PA 455  TF 55  TA 49  TBP 6  LBP 4

Ospreys finished 8th in the Pro12

Our league form in the 2015/16 season was disappointing to say the least. We were always playing catch-up after the World Cup and missed out on Champions Cup qualification for the first time in our history, finishing 8th.

However, our European campaign could be seen as a success when compared to previous seasons as we only missed out on qualifying for the quarter finals by a point.

Are you pleased with your new signings?

Ospreys have signed Rhodri Jones (Llanelli), Hugh Gustafson (Newport), Kieron Fonotia (Crusaders), Bradley Davies (Wasps)

We’ve made some good signings in the likes of centre Kieron Fonotia from Crusaders, and Bradley Davies from Wasps. We’ve also added some depth to the squad with the signings of Hugh Gustafson from Newport and Rhodri Jones from Llanelli.

Probably our best acquisition though would be defence coach Brad Davis from Wasps.

Bradley Davies has joined up from Wasps, on an NDC of course

Where would you say your team’s strengths and weaknesses lie?

Last season our weakness was defence, but our new defence coach Brad Davis seems to have fixed that issue with some great defensive performances, such as away in Ulster last week, so now I’d say our main weakness is the scrum. To be fair it’s been solid so far, but it definitely needs some work.

Our strength would be our ability to attack from anywhere on the field.

How do you rate your coach?

Former Neath and Ospreys flanker Steve Tandy has been in charge since 2012

I’ll be honest, after the defeat to Llanelli in March I wanted Steve Tandy out, as did many others. But since then we’ve been playing a good brand of rugby and winning the majority of games, so I’d probably say I’m a fan of Tandy…

…until 21:30 on Friday after we’ve been beaten and I’m calling for him to be sacked!

Steve Tandy is the Ospreys head coach

Who do you see as your star player?

Our star player has to be Justin Tipuric. He’s been brilliant so far this season and showed this with an excellent display out in Ulster. He’s an incredible athlete who can do anything when’s he on form.

How has your season gone so far?

Compared to last season’s disaster start, this year’s start has been good. Other than an awful first 50 minutes out in Dublin we’ve been playing well. We’re three wins out of five so far and those two losses have come at Leinster and Ulster where wins are hard to come by.

Justin Tipuric is the undisputed Ospreys blindside

What is the aim for this season?

Our aim this year has to be top six in the Pro12 first and foremost. Hopefully we’ll get top four and push on from there.

On the European front, our target is to win the Challenge Cup.

What is your prediction for our game?

It’s too close to call on Friday night, but I think home advantage will give the Ospreys the win. Ospreys 23-19 Cardiff.

Thanks to @ospreysrugbyfan for answering the questions and good luck on Friday (to a certain extent). It’s sure to be a cracker of a Welsh derby so get down to Swansea and support the boys with tickets here, and a seat on the Cardiff Blues Supporter’s Club bus here. Come on Cardiff!!

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