"We were a bit slow out of the blocks"
By Ospreys Rugby | 31/12/2010
Jonathan Humphreys couldn't hide his frustration after watching the Ospreys almost claw their way back to victory after a sluggish start against Cardiff Blues.
Speaking post-match to the assembled media at the Cardiff City Stadium, Forwards Coach Humphreys said:
“We didn’t start with the intensity that we can, that we expect from an Ospreys side. We were a bit slow out of the blocks. You can put a lot of that down to the Blues, I think they defended very well, and thanks to some opportunistic moments they managed to snatch the advantage.
“We won’t blame the four day turnaround. We picked the team that we felt was the right selection, which was good enough to come here and win.
“I thought our sluggish start obviously had a big bearing on the result, and the sinbinning was a factor, but I’m not going to say the scrum was the factor that we didn’t win the game. We didn’t win the game because they were more physical than us in the first 25 minutes. Their defence was excellent and they really stopped us getting into any rhythm.
“We talked beforehand that we thought they would be very physical. I think to beat us you have to be physical. They were the best side in the first half by the margin that was on the scoreboard.
“We started coming back into the game in the second half, and obviously, Paul gets yellow carded with their man. That’s a tough one to take really, Paul has been very dominant in recent weeks and to come here and get yellow carded, it’s frustrating.
“Now, Filise and Paul got yellow carded at the same time. Somebody must be at fault; I can’t understand why you would do both of them. It’s a conversation that I need to have with Nigel. We felt that coming here we wouldn’t be allowed to dominate the scrum. We felt it was an issue, and it certainly was at the start of the second half. We didn’t feel that coming here would be a factor in that; we didn’t feel that the Blues would be a factor.
“Every referee comes in the dressing room before the game and says ‘you must scrummage square’. That’s what we want, scrummage square. I sat in a press conference after Munster away and I said then that tightheads must be refereed consistently and refereed on scrummaging square. That’s what we want, please scrummage square. Now, you go on the pitch and tightheads don’t but they get away with it. To me, it’s flabbergasting.
“There’s some referees that come and want to be educated on the scrum, and there’s some who don’t. The ones who don’t are the ones who have big, big issues there. Unless people go outside of their comfort zone, and go to forwards coaches and scrum coaches to try and get educated, then you are always going to have that issue. You end up making big, big statements and get it wrong.
”We’ve got some big tests ahead of us. I think we’ve been okay but potentially we could be very good. We are fairly happy with where we are going, but there’s a lot of room for improvement there. We said after the Scarlets game that we needed to raise our game several notches to be where we wanted to be, and to achieve what we want from this season, and I think that much was evident our there this afternoon.
“It’s certainly not a case of us getting carried away at all, our feet are firmly on the floor. We review our performances thoroughly after every game, win lose or draw, and as we did after the Scarlets game, we will look at this and highlight the areas that need our focus before we go to Leinster next week.
“The spirit and the attitude in the group is clearly very good, that was evident in the way we fought after the break. We need to make sure that is channelled correctly, and that we play as a team, with everyone doing their job.”