Steve Tandy declared himself relatively pleased after the Ospreys were defeated 21-14 by Leicester in Bridgend but says there’s plenty of room for improvement.
In an entertaining game played out under torrential downpours, there were tries for Dan Baker and his namesake Jay, among plenty of good intent. If anything, according to the Ospreys head coach, there was too much intent at times given the weather.
“It was a good hit out for us” was Tandy’s view.
“We’d have liked it to be a bit drier given the amount of rugby we played, we probably overdid it a little bit. In fairness, it’s something we’ve really focused again over the summer, trying to improve our skillset from last year.
“We probably overdid it a little bit in the rain. Leicester have had a couple of chances, a couple of maul tries, which is disappointing, something we need to tidy up, but there was set piece improvement which was good.
“You definitely saw some of the attacking intent from some of the young backs in particular. Overall, pretty pleased. It’s always disappointing to lose any game but, ultimately, it was a good hit out.
“There were good individual performances and I think our front five dominated early on in the scrum which is pleasing.”
With the region’s Lions, and most of their Wales summer tour contingent, still absent, there was a youthful look to the Ospreys, and Tandy had praise for those youngsters involved. He said:
“Olly Cracknell was outstanding at seven tonight, then we’d have liked to get young Will Jones on earlier but they yellow card affected substitutions. He’s a good up and coming young kid.
“It was great to see Owen Watkin back after a pretty bad knee injury, having over a year out of the game, it was great to see him out there. Young Tom Williams communicated well, took his kicks offs well and he saw some opportunities.
“You’ve got Joe Thomas and Jay Baker as well, it’s pretty inexperienced from 11-14 but against a decent Leicester outfit they did back themselves. That’s something we encourage, even if it didn’t always come off tonight. There’s always room for improvement though. We probably took it too hard to the line given the conditions, but it’s good that everyone got a run out and, touch wood, there’s no injuries to report. “
As more players report back for training next week, Tandy is expecting a positive vibe in training ahead of next Sunday’s Canterbury Cup clash with Bath at the Liberty Stadium.
“There’s loads to top up on from this but we’ve got the fixtures in now, most of the group back up and running, and there’s a new focus to our work as Zebre on 2nd September gets closer: he insisted.
“Everyone has come through it tonight and we’re looking forward to getting back in Monday for a good working group coming together. Kieron Fonotia and Justin Tipuric are both reporting back this week. Hassler, Keelan Giles, Baldwin and Parry were all training back at Llandarcy this afternoon. Dmitri had a little bit of illness and couldn’t make it but these boys will all start to feature these next two weeks and we’ve got Kingy and Lyds coming closer to fitness.
“Jeff will probably feature up in Leicester, Sam Parry hopefully for Leicester, Baldwin there or thereabouts for round one, then Lyds and Kingy, we are managing really closely week to week. They were around the session today but it’ll be a real push for them to get back for rounds one or two so they are looking at game three.”