Missing a host of first-team players due to the upcoming test between Wales and the Barbarians this afternoon, the Ospreys surprised many to pull off a superb victory with many inexperienced players shining on a fine night in London for Welsh rugby.
In a game of two contrasting halves Booth’s young side would show desire and resolve to overcome their more experienced counterparts despite falling behind to Phepsi Burthelezi’s early try.
Back would come the roaring Ospreys response and after 13 phases of play would get their rewards with fly-half Jack Walsh getting on the scoresheet.
Further tries would come from replacement Max Nagy and Kieran Williams before the break as the region would extend to a thoroughly deserved 14-point advantage against their wasteful opponents.
In a second period with no points scored, the Ospreys played with heart and desire to resolutely close out the Sharks. The South African region would improve and test the defense with sporadic moments of quality but led by stand-in captain Morgan Morris the Ospreys would see the game out to the delight of their coach.
“We have run out of plaudits for Morgan Morris, having the captaincy he leads by example, and he certainly did that. He’s an older statesman in performance than in years,” said Booth
“People like him, Jack Morgan, Rhys Davies and Dewi Lake are the future and the mainstay of what we are.”
“Who needs Justin Tipuric, right,” joked Booth.
“On a serious note, though it is a great reinforcement for buying in energy and effort. They will learn a lot from that. It wasn’t by any means pretty at times but sometimes that’s the way.
“I’m so proud and pleased for the boys that they managed to get the result they got and the type of performance.
“There’s a hell of a lot of learning about the price you have to pay and the consistency and effort needed. Winning tight contests is a thing that you learn, the more you do it, the better the player you become.
“Max [Nagy] has started the season strong and trained well. He’s come in from Swansea Uni as someone who we’ve found and with Jack Walsh they are both finding it all out and pushing each other.
“We put him on the bench today because he isn’t used to backing up games, unfortunately, Owen [Williams] got injured with his hamstring and hopefully it isn’t too bad, but he came on and took his opportunity which is all you can ask for.
“We’re a side that will never go away. We might not have as much quality at times in different competitions, but we’ve always prided ourselves on having a team that always works hard for themselves.
“As a result, we can get into a contest and sometimes you can shock people if they are not quite up to it, and today you have seen that they can claw their way back into a game.”
[Lead image: Ospreys Rugby]
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