Defeat leaves Gruff frustrated

Gruff Rees admitted that unforced errors had proven costly as the Ospreys went down to defeat at the hands of Connacht on Friday evening.

Backs Coach Rees said he had found it and “incredibly frustrating” evening in Galway as the Ospreys failed to convert plenty of possession and territory into points as veteran fly-half Dan Parks played the elements perfectly, his trusty boot ensuring that the visitors indiscipline and errors were punished at every opportunity.

“It was incredibly frustrating” Rees said after the final whistle.

“It was one of those evenings, when we could and maybe should have done better but we can’t have any complaints about the outcome. They were the better side.

“Given that we were playing into the wind in the first half, the scoreline of 13-7 at the break wasn’t so bad and we were right in it, but to lose the second half 9-3 tells its own story.

“We lost a few setpieces, gave away penalties at key moments, and combined that meant we couldn’t really put together any sustained pressure despite plenty of good intent and endeavour. Dan Parks played well for Connacht, he was particularly effective into the wind in the second half, putting in some very good kick returns that we struggled to deal with. We were probably guilty of trying to play too much rugby for the conditions, but we had enough territory and possession to have got something out of it.

“We’ve spoken in the dressing room about how tight it is in the top half of the table, that the top six this season are proving very consistent as illustrated by Glasgow tonight. It’s crucial that we pick up the pieces of this defeat, learn from it and show the right spirit. We’ve got two particularly tough games to come over the next couple of weeks, at home Edinburgh and then away to Munster.

“Edinburgh is a crucial test of character for this group and we need the support of our fans, it’s important that they do their bit to lift this team which is giving everything for the cause.

“It’s probably fair to say that we are down to the bones in terms of depth now. We lost Ben John early on which meant that our options were limited when we were looking to rescue the game and we ended up with Kahn on the wing.

“In fairness, we had some go forward at times, some half chances, particularly midway through the second half, and at 16-10 I thought we had a chance, we were definitely in the ascendancy at that point.

“However, what we saw then probably summed up the night for us when we got into one or two good positions, made some real inroads and were looking dangerous, only to take wrong options or unforced turnovers, allowing Parks to relieve the pressure.

“It was disappointing but this team has shown throughout the season that it’s got plenty of spirit so we’re expecting a good response next weekend. Hopefully the supporters will be there to help them.”