Tandy salutes excellent Tebaldi
STEVE Tandy saluted Tito Tebaldi as "excellent" after the Italian helped the Ospreys hand his countrymen a defeat at Stadio Monigo on Saturday evening.
Making his full debut for the region, the 14-cap Parma product controlled matters expertly from the base of the scrum, tormenting Treviso with a series of finely judged box kicks, one of which set up a try for Ben John as the visitors ran out 24-19 winners.
"I thought Tito was excellent," said Tandy, the Ospreys' head coach.
"It was his first competitive start for us and he slotted in really well.
"Ben John took his try well, too, but it was a team effort that got us the win and we're all very pleased.
"It's a good way to start the season."
Tebaldi has a tough act to follow at the Liberty after the impression made by Kahn Fotuali'i in the previous two seasons.
The 25-year-old didn't do anything too flashy, instead making a series of intelligent plays that helped get the Ospreys home in the face of a determined effort from the hosts.
What made his display more impressive was that for long periods he was operating behind a pack who were finding possession hard to come by, but Tebaldi never panicked or hid.
Ultimately, though, it still took a huge team defensive show in the dying minutes to complete the job.
Tom Smith, who led the side after Ryan Jones left the field with an injury, said: "To come to Treviso and get a win was all we were looking for.
"In patches, and I include myself in this, our discipline killed us, but what was pleasing was the resolve the boys showed in defence.
"We showed glimpses of what we can do in attack, but probably the biggest thing we can take out of this was the effort we put in during the dying minutes to keep them out.
"We knew they were going to be heavy up front and pose a big test. So we're pleased to have come here, got a result and produced such a physical effort."