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Play-Offs give league an extra edge says Bowe

Guinness PRO12 Editor

25 May 2010


Ospreys scoring sensation Tommy Bowe is the latest player to sing the praises of the new Magners League Play-Off system.

The competition’s all-time top try scorer will be hoping for glory this weekend when his side face Leinster in the inaugural Grand Final.

And the in-form Irishman has no doubts that the introduction of semi-finals and Saturday’s showpiece provide a truly fitting climax to the domestic season.

"The concept of the Play-Offs and Grand Final have been brilliant,” said Bowe, who was recently voted Player of the Year by both the Irish and Welsh professional rugby players’ associations.

"As a player, I must admit I was wary to start with about having the prospect of playing two extra games.

"It’s a long, old season as it is but it has certainly added some spice to the Magners League.

"Teams were pushing hard to get into the top four throughout the season and then the top two for home advantage. It has given the league a real edge.

"I have never been involved in a Magners League campaign before where people are really interested all the way through to the last game of the season. It has a Heineken Cup feel to it.”

And while Bowe believes the new system has been a massive plus for all 10 teams in the league, he knows that a positive result at the RDS would make it even more popular with the Ospreys players and supporters alike.

The bookmakers may have the Irish province as slight favourites but Bowe feels his side have what it takes to return home with a third Magners League crown.

"We want to cut Leinster open. I know how they play,” added Bowe, who will face a whole host of international colleagues at the RDS on Saturday night.

"Brian O’Driscoll and Gordon D’Arcy are top players but Andrew Bishop is on fire and James Hook is flying. If we get on top up front then we can cause some damage.”