Steve Tandy said he was proud, if frustrated and disappointed, after watching his Ospreys side battle to a hard-earned losing bonus point at the RDS Arena.
Nevertheless, they return to Wales with a bonus point which was the least they deserved, and Tandy admitted to mixed emotions after the game.
“We’re really disappointed to have lost that game” said Tandy.
“That says everything you need to know about this group of players because nobody gave us any chance before the match but we’ve come here with so many players missing and have given one of Europe’s leading teams a real outing at their home ground.
“As a coaching group we are immensely proud of every one of them, even if we are frustrated that ultimately, the reason we did lose the game was down to our own basic errors.
“It’s important that we don’t lose sight of that fact and don’t get carried away simply because we picked up a point tonight. We were not just in it, we were level and well placed to kick on, and our defensive effort was excellent which meant that our line hadn’t really been threatened.”
The Ospreys’ Head Coach acknowledged that in the closing stages the Ospreys had been the architects of their own downfall, but refused to be downbeat at the defeat.
“We genuinely thought we could go on and win it, but there were some silly mistakes that proved costly in the last 10 minutes and it wasn’t to be” he said.
“The pressure told in the end but when you have an inexperienced team that’s what you are going to get sometimes. This is how you learn, how you get that experience, if you learn from it as you go along.
“What’s important now is that these boys do the work in training, they review the match and identify where it went wrong, and apply themselves in the right way on training pitch, to keep learning. They have a great attitude and we’ll see what they learn from experiences like this in six, 12, 18 months time.
“As disappointed as I am right now, we aren’t going home empty handed and that’s important. When you look at the bigger picture, how we’ve been hit by the injuries and the fourth international, this is a great point in the wider context and come the end of the season could be crucial.
“We are in second place at the moment and could have been top if it wasn’t for some basic errors tonight. We’ve already been away to Ulster, Leinster and Munster. We’ve got to be fairly content with how it’s played out in the PRO12 so far, but we’ve got to take stock now and see where we are as we park the PRO12 up and look at Europe for the next two weeks.”
Next up for the Ospreys are back-to-back clashes with Racing Metro, beginning with a home game at the Liberty next Saturday, and Tandy believes that with the momentum from the returning Wales players, they will go toe-to-toe with the French giants.
“We’ve got Welsh internationals coming back this week to prepare for Racing Metro. We’ve got them at the Liberty next Saturday, unlike the last couple of years when we’ve had to travel to France off the back of the fourth international, so that’s a positive. I’ve spoken to them before today and they were in a good place, they are going to be even happier after the win this afternoon, and they are really keen to wear the Ospreys shirt again. We’ve always been fortunate in that the culture here means the Wales boys want to play, they want to be involved, so we’ll have a look at them and see what we’ve got in terms of fit players for a massive few weeks.
“The group that we’ve got at the Ospreys have a great collective attitude and they represent everything we want them to. It’s not going to be easy the next couple of weeks but we are up for it. I’d like to think that the supporters can identify with these boys and are as proud of them as we are as coaches.
“There’s some tough work ahead of us this week but it’s a big opportunity against a very good Racing Metro team next Saturday at the Liberty and we’ve all got to be at our very best. We have to turn positive performances into points on the board and a big crowd will help us do that.”