Reaction to Heineken Cup defeat from Director of Coaching, Scott Johnson.
Speaking shortly after the final whistle at the post-match press conference following the defeat to Biarritz, Scott Johnson said:
“We knew it was going to be a hard day at the office when they started so well and us so poorly. When you get that sort of combination, it’s a tidal wave you wish you could start but you can’t.
“I think there was energy in the second half, after the double blow of the scoreboard at half-time and the loss of Kahn for 10 minutes. We’d spoken about last year’s Heineken Cup final where Northampton were dominant at halftime, and that if we could get our part right we might do alright. The reality was losing Kahn, they put on two tries in that period.
“There was plenty of effort from us but plenty that wasn’t good to see. We couldn’t get the ball, we missed tackles, we couldn’t find touch. You can talk about our scrum but we couldn’t use that ascendancy as basic errors in those areas meant we were handing it straight back to them.
“It’s an oversimplification to say that it was just down to us. The way they started, they were the best side we’ve played against this season, in any competition to be fair. If a couple of things go your way early then it’s a different game. One team started well, sniffed something, while the other one went into their shell a little bit. It’s a hard one to take.
“Have I read the riot act? There’s a time and a place for everything. They are professionals, they’ve got egos, there’s an understanding about where we are. Listen, we are all hugely disappointed, there’s no getting away from it. Whatever’s gone on before today in this competition we still had a very real chance coming into this game of achieving something and it just didn’t happen. I can stand here and say this and that, but nothing’s going to change the result now.
“It’s a difficult time, of course it is, and we’ll have to look at everything in the cold light of day. There’s a lot goes on that can influence what happens out there on the paddock, and sometimes, things don’t go your way. It’s a big understatement to say that this defeat will hurt us all, it really is,
“We all know what we want to achieve for the Ospreys, and we know the weight of expectation there is on our shoulders. There were fans here today who’ve travelled a long way, who have invested a huge amount of finance and emotion in this team, and they will be feeling let down tonight, just as the fans sat at home will be. I understand that entirely, I can understand the frustration, disappointment, whatever you want to call it.
“This is a big time of evolution, for right or for wrong, and that clock is still ticking. The reality is we can’t wallow in this we’ve got to get back on the horse with games still coming thick and fast, and the PRO12 still high on the agenda. What we do from here on in will say a lot about the character of this group.”