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Ospreys want to spoil the party

Guinness PRO12 Editor

28 May 2010

Sean Holley and Ryan Jones insist the Ospreys are focussed on spoiling Leinster head coach Michael Cheika’s leaving party.

Cheika ends a successful five-year tenure when he takes charge of the Irish province for the final time in Saturday’s Magners League Grand Final in Dublin.

The Aussie won the Celtic crown in 2008 before securing the Heineken Cup a year later.

But opposite number Holley reckons the Welsh region will be all out to ensure he does not move to Stade Francais this summer with a hat-trick of trophies.

"Michael is not one of the coaches I've had a lot of interaction with over the last couple of years. However, there is a quiet mutual respect between the coaching teams,” said Holley.

"He has brought an edge and professionalism to Leinster and it's been no mean feat with Munster ruling the roost for so long in Ireland.

"But credit to Michael for winning the amount of silverware he has.

"He has put together a very professional outfit and the team are clearly playing for him and the coaching staff.

"I'm sure they will want to send him, Malcolm O'Kelly and Girvan Dempsey out on a big high. That's their agenda and good luck to them but not too much because we have our own agenda. We have a few players finishing their careers with us.

"But we have worked hard this season and we'll throw everything at the game to win this weekend."

The Ospreys travel to the RDS bidding for a third domestic title and ending Leinster's incredible unbeaten home record which stretches back to September 2008.

But skipper Jones believes his men are ready to deliver on the big stage across the Irish sea.

And the British & Irish Lions back-rower has urged his star-studded side to reproduce the level of performance that downed Irish rivals Munster at Thomond Park for the first time last month.

"It's a fantastic opportunity for us to finish the season with silverware,” said Jones.

"We know them extremely well and they know us but we want to produce exactly the same performance as we did in Munster.

"We've had a low-key week but we're not going to learn anything new this week.

"This is as close as the league gets to a Test match and there is a big prize on offer at the end of the game.

"The final will come down to who gets it right on the day and we expect the first 20 minutes to be ferocious, physical and abrasive.

"There will be one or two key moments but the team who acquits themselves best and settles first will have the best chance of gaining momentum."