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Ospreys find reason for optimism despite Anglo-Welsh Cup exit

Ospreys backs coach Richard Fussell insists there is reason for optimism after a 31-22 bonus-point win at Wasps, despite missing out on the Anglo-Welsh Cup semi-finals.

The Welsh region knew that they had to win, and also better Exeter Chiefs' result, to make the last four but with the Chiefs cruising past Bristol, the Ospreys just missed out.

Jay Baker, Dan Baker, Kieron Fonotia and Hanno Dirksen all crossed for the Ospreys and having given a lot of young players game-time in the competition, Fussell was very pleased with the outcome.

He said: "Nothing changed for us through this tournament. We wanted some of our youngsters to follow on from the British and Irish Cup with some good performances and those boys have developed really well, which shows the strength in depth in our squad.

"Some of our boys really held their hands up, so when we go back into league competition in the PRO12 we'll have some headaches around selection.

"Today was a massive physical battle for us and a lot of our youngsters put their hands up with some really good performances, and for us to get the bonus-point try at the end was outstanding.

"We grew into the second half, and some of the substitutions we made had a massive impact and helped us get a foothold in the game around the set-piece.

"Wasps dominated us there in the first half, and for us to come back as we did was really pleasing for us as a coaching staff."

Wasps saw a 20-match unbeaten home run ended and forwards coach Andy Titterrell admitted inexperience had told at times despite Brendan Macken's double.

He said: "We improved from last week, and I thought some of the lads that took the field stepped up to the mark and played some good rugby as individuals.

"But collectively as a team we were a little bit naive at times, and ultimately that cost us the game.

"The team Ospreys fielded will see them through the next four or five weeks in the PRO12, but we knew that coming into the game.

"Every game you play is difficult, especially when we have a decent home record and teams want to come here and test themselves against us."

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