Scott Johnson said he was pleased with the endeavour if not the application after the Ospreys held on for the win at the Liberty Stadium on Sunday evening.
A strong Leinster challenge was repelled as the Ospreys clinched a 19-15 victory, and speaking to the press post-match, Johnno said that while it wasn’t a vintage performance, there were plenty of plus points to come from the game:
“I’ve just said in the changing room that I think we’ve got to be honest” he said.
“The performance and the execution wasn’t great. We are happy with the win but we didn’t play well.
“It wasn’t a great spectacle but it was a great result. With the group of boys I thought the endeavour was great, it was first class, but when you take a new group like that some of them lack a bit of experience.
“A lot of young players have stood up in this period and we’ve seen them in a different light, but they are not quite sure how to close out games yet. I’m really proud of our effort though, and you can work with effort. I think tonight will be great for their development, and for the momentum of the squad, so we’ll take the win but there’ll be an honesty call as well.
“We knew that this period would be difficult for us with the amount of players we have on other duties. It’s really nice to see a bit of confidence grow in some of the players, it’s really good for our region, they are local kids and it’s nice to give them an opportunity.
“Some of the execution let us down. There’s a fine line between the right execution and the wrong option. Everyone immediately jumps on the bandwagon and says it’s the wrong option, but if the execution was done better we wouldn’t be talking about it. I’m just really happy that there’s a lot of boys that have been waiting in the wings and they’ve taken their chances and helped us to three big wins on the bounce during November. It’s been a time where maybe a few people fancied us to come up short but these kids have done pretty well I think.
“We are very glad with the win, the effort, but the application wasn’t quite there, we’re honest about that.”
“I think Richard Hibbard did very well and I think the scrum is starting to come of age. It’s nice to see Duncan getting a bit of game time, he’s been out for a long time but he’s a wonderful player. I think the forwards did exceptionally well.
“Dan’s having a hard time at the moment, but people forget he’s only just turned 21. It seems you either love him or hate him, we just happen to love him here. The reality is you don’t lose talent, you lose belief. We’ve just got to encourage him through this, he’s imperative to our success. He will be a little disappointed with his game tonight, because he’s a harsh critic, and that’s what makes him a great player and integral to us moving forward. I wouldn’t swap him for the world though and in years to come, both the Ospreys and Wales will be bloody glad we produced him!”