Forwards Coach, Chris Gibbes, says the Ospreys are ‘down, but not out’ after a disappointing evening at the Stadio XXV Aprile in Parma.
Trailing by 10 at the break following a disjointed opening 40 minutes, they came flying out of the blocks after the restart and a much improved third quarter saw them run in three tries as they looked set to secure the bonus point win they came for, only for a dramatic contest to swing the other way as two late scores left the Ospreys stunned.
“It’s very, very disappointing” said Gibbes immediately after the final whistle.
“This is a young group, a very exciting group of players, but if they are going to develop into what we think they can, then they need to learn to be more clinical and to handle pressure situations better.
“There were a few rushes of blood out there, and although we saw plenty of good intention, we have to learn to be patient. You don’t have to score with the first or second phase, you can be patient and work your way through the phases to work the opening. We tried too hard at times and that meant we made mistakes.
“You have to give credit to Zebre. We spoke before the game about how they are a vastly improved team and how dangerous they are, and they kept going right to the very end. But, I think it’s fair to say that we made it easier for them at times than it should be.
“We’ll dust ourselves down, look at what went wrong and how we can put it right for next weekend. Obviously it’s a painful defeat and we need to learn the lessons from it. It’s not over yet and we’ll be watching what happens in Ireland tomorrow. Yes we are realistic, but as long as there is a chance, we’ll keep going. If next weekend we have a sniff then we’ll go for it, but we are honest with ourselves and accept that it’s an outside chance now.
“This is a young group, there was an average age of 24 in the first half, and they will learn from this, no matter how much it hurts them at the moment. That is how good teams emerge, they learn from setbacks, and don’t let emotions over take them, which is what we’ve all got to do now.”