All Black legend Jerry Collins has praised the contribution of Springbok Ricky Januarie during the Ospreys’ 62-7 victory over Viadana on Saturday, saying the Stormers star had been forced to play ‘blindfolded’ and yet still showed his quality.
Rugby365 reports that Collins, leading the Welsh region in the absence Ryan Jones, produced a commanding performance himself as Scott Johnson’s men picked up five Heineken Cup points and maintained the pressure on Clermont and Leicester in the race for quarterfinal qualification.
Of course, Collins has seen plenty of his new teammate Januarie before - having clashed with the Hopefield-born South African star in both international and Super 14 action in the past.
Now on a three-month loan with the Ospreys, Januarie met up with his new team the day before the Heineken Cup fixture but, because of their long list of scrumhalf injury problems, was rushed straight into the starting line-up.
“He was good, he pretty much got off the plane yesterday and had to play. That’s a tough ask for any player,” said the powerful Kiwi flank to the Western Mail.
“He was pretty much playing blindfolded.
“But we stressed up front all week that to make his job easier we had to just play, get the ball on the front foot and deliver it.
“Ricky has been around a long time, he knows how to play and we are pleased to have him. A player of his calibre knows what’s expected of him and what needs to be done.
“We didn’t want to complicate things for him and he was happy to get a try in his first game.”
Speaking after the match, Januarie said he was just looking forward to playing some rugby and using his chance in Europe to get himself back to full fitness.
“In my time with the Ospreys I will be playing rugby, which is important,” he stressed.
“I haven’t played for five weeks and my last game was the Currie Cup semi-final.
“Playing for three months for the Ospreys is going to be good for me, it will help me to get back into fitness.”Tweet