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Final will bring out the best in the Ospreys

Guinness PRO12 Editor

26 May 2010


One of the Ospreys’ most-respected figures believes Saturday’s Magners League Grand Final will bring out the very best in the Welsh region.

The Ospreys go into the weekend showdown with Leinster in confident mood having enjoyed a successful end to the regular Magners League season.

And veteran back-rower Filo Tiatia has little doubt that the Liberty Stadium outfit will show they have saved their best til last when they take the field for what should be a truly memorable occasion in Dublin.

"Like anything in knock-out stages, anything can happen. The occasion will bring out the best in the individual," said Tiatia.

"Like anything in team sport, it’s got to be a cohesive performance. A lot of times we don’t have much possession, but the possession that we do get, hopefully we can score points and, at the end of the day, it’s about scoring the most points and conceding the least.

"So we are really excited going up to Dublin. We pushed them really hard the last time there.

"There were a few errors in the game that let us down and got them back in the game. A couple of mistakes from us and they won it."

Tiatia and co are attempting to break a two-year Irish stranglehold on the Magners League trophy by winning their third crown in six years.

If they do so it will provide a fitting tribute to a man who has given his all to his adopted home since arriving in Wales from Japan four years ago.

Tiatia will call time on an illustrious professional career after Saturday’s Grand Final but the former All Black has no doubts that the Ospreys will push on without him – whatever the result against Leinster.

"There’s been a lot of changes, a lot of positive changes as well since I arrived,” said Tiatia, who has played 98 times for the Ospreys since joining the region in 2006.

"The way the Ospreys are moving forward is a positive in terms of trying to develop from within the region.

"And there are some really exciting kids coming through the system."

As for his own individual contribution since his arrival from Toyota Verblitz, the imposing New Zealander admits that his time at the Ospreys has surpassed his own expectations, regardless of whether he gets on to the field at the RDS.

"I turned up here as a 34-year-old, 34-and-a-half or 35 or whatever it was, and I didn’t really expect to play too many games.

"I joined the team to back up Ryan Jones and Jonathan Thomas and I didn’t realise how young they were.

"I still knew I had something in the tank and something I could actually give within this team so I just went for it.

"If I’m involved for the final it will be my last professional game so mixed emotions.

"At the same time I’m sort of looking forward to it as well. I’m pretty happy with whatever number (of appearances) I end up with."