Chiefs’ “superior” home record the difference

Alun Wyn Jones has highlighted Exeter’s home form, which saw them picking up three bonus points wins, as being the key to an ultra competitive Pool 2.


All four teams in the pool won three and lost three of their six games in the competition, with just a single point separating the quartet at the end of the group stages. 

Like Exeter, the Ospreys were unbeaten at home in Pool 2.

At the post-match press conference the Ospreys skipper pointed to the Chiefs’ impressive record at Sandy Park where they picked up 15 of their 16 points thanks to three bonus point wins, while ensuring the visiting teams left empty handed on each occasion.

Jones was asked in the media room at Sandy Park how much he felt the Ospreys needed to improve to be in contention for the last eight.

“16 or more points judged on the back of today” was his immediate reaction.

"I said to the guys at the end that none of you in here said at the start we would be in contention to get out of the pool, no disrespect. I remember doing the interview at the start of the season and somebody laughed, which is fine. 

"And it's not about defying the odds or proving other people wrong, it's about working for each other and trying to do something different. 

"We've made a point about all the big names that have gone through this jersey and not got ourselves in the position that we have.

"Ultimately we've faltered again and we haven't done that, but I can say credit to the team and we're proud to have come so close. Exeter have been far superior in the pool at home, particularly against Clermont and us.

“It’s disappointing but we’ve got to live with it. The focus now is on a tough Six Nations period because currently we aren’t in a position to play in this competition last year.”

The skipper admitted that, not for the first time this campaign, a sluggish start had left the Ospreys playing catch-up, but it wasn’t to be on this ocaasion:

"In all honesty it wasn't the ideal start. Two quick tries put us on the back foot, but in the same breath it was probably the best time to have them because we've got another 70 minutes to go.

"Unfortunately we probably chased it a little bit too much. We brought ourselves back into contention, but the game got away from us and we had too much to do. We’ve gone away from home earlier in the tournament and picked up two points in losing, but first and foremost coming here today was about winning and we didn’t do that.

"As Gruff has said, there's a lot of emotion involved in those performances we've had. We've probably lived off emotion and performed off emotion, but you can't really afford to do that in this competition.

"I remember being away in London Irish in the same position. We went out there with a team that was probably on paper far superior and had the same result. I think Gruff has succinctly nailed it on the head with the word devastated. Ultimately we can’t live off emotion in this competition.”