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Sides are right to fear Ospreys says Bowe

Guinness PRO12 Editor

27 May 2010


Tommy Bowe believes the Ospreys have developed an aura that will ensure Leinster don’t take them lightly in Saturday’s Magners League Grand Final.

Leinster have already beaten the Ospreys twice this season and have won the last six encounters between the two sides but Bowe says the Dubiners will be wary of his team’s potential.

Bowe claims that the Irish provinces see the Ospreys as the main Welsh threat in Magners League rugby – a claim backed up by their recent wins at both Ravenhill and Thomond Park.

"We are the flag bearers in Wales and I know the teams in Ireland see the Ospreys as the main threat,” said Bowe, who has cemented his position as the leading try scorer in Magners League history with a further seven scores this term.

"Of course, there is an expectation on us to be winning trophies in Wales but, even back home, there is a fear factor and an aura surrounding the Ospreys.

"When you are a top team, everyone wants to beat you and I remember growing up in Ulster, we always wanted to beat Munster and Leinster.

"That's what the Irish teams want to do to the Ospreys now. Leinster will be gunning for us as they have beaten us twice this season and will take confidence from that.

"But if there's one team that have the players and the potential to end Leinster's amazing home record, it's us.

"It will be a special game and they will be wary that if we click, few teams will stick with us."

The Ospreys arrive in Dublin in good form and Bowe has no doubts that the side are moving in the right direction.

A Heineken Cup quarter-final exit at the hands of Biarritz may have been a major disappointment but the Ireland and Lions wing believes the Ospreys have learnt from the experience and are already using it to their benefit.

Much has been made of the Ospreys’ supposed failure of the big stage but, despite only having been in existence for seven years, they already have two Celtic League crowns to their name and are aiming to make history by becoming the first team to collect a hat-trick of titles.

"We have made a massive step forward from last season and I believe we are going places,” said Bowe, who was linked with a return to his homeland before committing his future to the Ospreys earlier this year.

"Leinster was an option for me but I have been here for two seasons and genuinely believe we are building for the future.

"I have seen Munster struggle to win trophies for years and Leinster could barely sell-out at Donnybrook but now they 14,000 season ticket holders.

"In comparison, we are young and it does take time but I share this region's vision.

"The defeat to Biarritz was a wake-up call. We weren't clincial enough and since then we have been playing winning rugby.

"It's not flashy to watch but Munster, Leicester and Wasps all do it. We pin teams back through Dan Biggar's boot and capitalise on other teams mistakes.

"It shows we are growing up and have turned the corner."