Hipkiss out to down Ospreys
Leicester centre out to retain cup
By Simon Dilger. Last Updated: 11/04/08 11:53am
Danny Hipkiss is in defiant mood as Leicester prepare to face Ospreys in the EDF Energy Cup final at Twickenham on Saturday.
"It is our trophy and we are determined to retain it. It was a great victory last year and we are determined to reproduce that."
Dan Hipkiss Quotes of the week
The Leicester centre and his team mates are aiming to repeat last season's historic league and cup double.
And their first task on the way to that goal will be a successful re-run of last year's cup final when they beat Ospreys 45-31.
"It is our trophy and we are determined to retain it. It was a great victory last year and we are determined to reproduce that," said Hipkiss.
But the England centre is under no illusions about the task ahead and knows that the Welsh club will be smarting after defeat to Saracens in Heineken Cup quarter-finals.
Hipkiss believes that Ospreys, made up largely of Wales' Grand Slam-winning team, will be looking to avenge that result on Saturday.
"Things don't go right for you some days. That defeat has made our job a lot tougher," he said.
"I know what we are like when we have lost a big game, we are very determined to put it right the next week.
"Wasps in the semi-final were a big test and this is another one - we know we will have to be at our best and match them all over the park.
"They have improved leaps and bounds from last year. They have developed a real resilience and strength in their forwards, which they didn't have."
Ospreys coach Lyn Jones said that his side need to put the disappointment at Saracens, a team they had smashed 30-3 in the EDF Energy Cup semi-final, behind them.
He said: ""We have to keep on fighting and keep on improving.
"We have produced a lot more Welsh internationals than any other region in Wales since we started, which is a reflection of the hard work we are doing here.
"To see 13 start against England, I was pleased as punch. They represented Wales with honour and to a high standard.
"We have been delighted with their achievements through the Six Nations. If we keep knocking on the door, it will open.
"We have won two Celtic League titles, are in our second EDF final in a row when we play Leicester on Saturday and qualified for the quarter-finals of the European Cup for the first time.
"We will keep on progressing and, next year, we will turn up expecting to win."