Lion desperate for Dublin success

Lions prop Adam Jones says the Ospreys are 'chomping at the bit' for Magners League Grand Final success this Saturday. [more]

Lion desperate for Dublin success

Lions prop Adam Jones says the Ospreys are ‘chomping at the bit’ for Magners League Grand Final success this Saturday.

Jones and co travel to Ireland to face 2008 Magners League champs Leinster having finished as runners up to the Dubliners in the end-of-regular-season standings.

Up until this year, that would have been that for the Welsh region. A second-place finish, a small pat on the back from a handful of outsiders, but no chance of silverware.

But that all changed with the introduction of the Play-Off system – an invention which Jones cannot speak highly enough of.

"It's really exciting to have the Play-Offs at the end of the season,” said Jones, who continues to cement his reputation as one of the best tight-head props in world rugby following his first Lions adventure.

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”Instead of not having anything to play for, we had the chance of two more massive games and a trophy up for grabs.

"We're chomping at the bit for the Grand Final. The Heineken Cup quarter-final was a tough game to lose, but I think we've come back strongly since then and showed our mettle.

"But all those games we won to get into the Play-Offs will count for nothing if we don't win the final."

Winning Saturday’s showpiece will certainly be a big ask, even for a team with as many star names as the Ospreys.

The Welsh region have traditionally found Dublin a tough place to go, winning only once in Ireland’s capital since they joined the Celtic League seven years ago.

Throw in the fact that they have been beaten three times in their three visits to Leinster’s current home of the RDS, and the size of the challenge becomes even more obvious.

But despite their lack of success in Dublin itself, the Ospreys have fond memories of Ireland this season.

Scott Johnson’s men got their season back on track following their Heineken Cup exit by taking 10 points from a possible 15 during three games across the Irish Sea in the space of just 12 days – a run that included a bonus-point victory at Ulster, a narrow defeat to Saturday’s opponents and an historic triumph over Munster at Fortress Thomond Park

"It will be exciting to go to Dublin for the Grand Final. We had what felt like a small tour of Ireland recently when we stayed out there in between games against Ulster, Leinster and Munster,” added Jones.

"It was a great trip because it really helped bring everyone together, especially after the defeat to Biarritz in the Heineken Cup quarter-finals. We played some pretty good rugby and you can't be a bad side if you beat Munster at Thomond Park.

"But we gave two soft tries away to Leinster when we lost 20-16 and that was very disappointing from our point of view. They didn't have all their big guns out that night, but we know the likes of Brian O'Driscoll will be turning out for the Final.

"We all know what a great player he is, but we have got some good players ourselves and we have to be looking to win the Magners League title again. We have things to work on but there is no reason why we can't win it."

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