Scott Johnson reflects on a Liberty Stadium stalemate that saw a depleted Ospreys team finish all square at nine apiece with Glasgow Warriors.
Speaking to the press after the game, Johnson said:
“It was a hard one. The effort was fantastic, the execution dreadful. But, considering the mix and match that we did this week I’m not sure if I’m really, really, disappointed or really, really, pleased. When you’ve got 23 or 24 players you can’t pick from, and you throw a team together, with blokes turning up in the week to find out they are playing, and then add the weather into it, it’s compounding the situation.
“We lost Marty Holah in the warm-up as he pulled a hamstring and we had to replace him with a winger as that’s all we had. It’s a funny time of the year for the Ospreys. I’m sure that we’ll be criticised because we didn’t beat what is a quality side that had their best team, that’s just the law of the land here!
“The effort was something tonight. We lost six consecutive lineouts on the bounce and I think we had four penalties or turnovers from scrum and when you lose that much set-ball but you’re still committed, it says great things. With a little bit more maturity we probably would have scraped a 12-9 win out of that and won ugly, but we were still trying to play at the end when it was clear that we should have taken a bit of field position.
“It’s very difficult when you’ve got aggressive attacking players who are trying to play footy all the time, in conditions and positions that probably didn’t suit that running game. It’s human nature to get frustrated, and backs get frustrated if you don’t get a flow to your game. If you don’t get a flow with an even amount of possession, you then start to think that you are chasing the clock.
“I think Barry Davies has been good for the last couple of weeks to be fair to him. He adds something to the squad with his personality. He’s a contagious personality, so not only is he producing on the field, he’s done terrific when he hasn’t been picked and he’s been second to Lee. He’s enlivened the squad and he’s been a great acquisition for us. I don’t know how the rest of the Welsh contingent has been playing at 15, but there’s an argument that he’s probably the form 15.
“We’ve been watching Nicky Thomas in the Premiership for a while and all credit to him tonight. He’s turned up this week and we’ve thrown him in, hoping to give him the experience of being around the camp but not really expecting him to play, but Nikki’s got hurt early on, and he’s gone on and done wonderfully well. I was really, really happy for that kid, what he’s done tonight, it wasn’t easy to do, and as a coach, I’m quite taken by that.”