Press Conference Notes 08.01.19

Head Coach Rory Duncan spoke to the media today ahead of Saturday’s European Challenge Cup match against Ospreys at the Liberty Stadium.

Here’s what Rory had to say:

On the win against Bath

  • The last 18 or 19 minutes were the longest of my life. But we were very happy with the result and the players had to fight from being 19-3 down at half-time.
  • The win means a lot to us as a club. It’s nice to go into a five week break from the Gallagher Premiership with a win under your belt.
  • Not everything went to plan in the first half but we would like to focus on the positive which is the fightback we had in the second half when we were a lot more clinical and put 18 points on the board.

On Duncan Weir’s winning conversion

  • It was good to see him put that one over.
  • Duncan is a quality player and once Bryce Heem had scored the try I was confident Duncan would put that one over.

On Ospreys this weekend

  • We are facing our toughest challenge in the competition so far. Ospreys are at home, they have proven that at home they are a tough team to play.
  • It will be a different game to the one we had against them at Sixways in October.
  • They will have some personnel changes and when they are at home they are on their game. They are physical team who play a fast brand of rugby.
  • They have an intelligent kicking game which is something we will have to manage.

On likely team selection

  • Because of the big break there are a number of games that we can select to rotate the squad.
  • What we have normally done is at the end of a block of Premiership games we have given guys who have started the majority of matches some time off.
  • We haven’t done that this time. All the players have been training from the beginning of the week and we will finalise selection on Thursday.

On the European Challenge Cup campaign

  • The games have been competitive, we not had an easy game.
  • Stade away was a tough outing but we got a great result there. We then beat Ospreys at home the following week.
  • The away game at Pau didn’t go our way but we managed to turn things around in the return match here.
  • But this week’s game is going to be a little bit different. It means a lot to both teams.

Ben Te’o’s performances in recent weeks

  • Ben is a big man and he carries hard and he has given us front foot ball against Saracens and Bath.
  • Having a person like Ben with his experience will add a lot of value and I think you can anticipate seeing Ben in action again this weekend.

Injuries

  • Nick Schonert has a sternum injury. Nick is being assessed by the medical staff but he will not be available this weekend.
  • Gareth Milasinovich took a bang to the head. He is still busy with the medical staff at the moment but he didn’t fail his HIA.
  • Perry Humphreys sustained an ankle injury against Bath. He is having scans today to assess the extent of the injury.
  • Josh Adams has been cleared to resume training on Thursday.
  • Bryce Heem has been given a 10-days’ break and has gone back to New Zealand.