After suffering a setback in the race for the play-offs on Sunday, Duncan Jones says the Ospreys need to cut out the unforced errors if they want to hold on to their place in the top four.
Munster scored three tries in a 25-11 win at the Liberty Stadium on a disappointing afternoon for the region, and speaking from inside the changing room after the final whistle, the experienced prop admitted that the team need to improve their accuracy for the end of season run-in.
“There’s a real sense of frustration after that” said Jones.
“A lot of our own inaccuracies hurt us a lot, we put ourselves under a fair bit of pressure and when you are playing against a quality side like Munster you can’t afford to give them opportunities that they don’t have to work for.
“They capitalised on three errors for three tries really, and when you are giving them chances like that then you’re never going to win.
“I don’t think we can use experience, or lack of, as an excuse. We’ve said in training coming into the game that we needed to be accurate, so there is a lot of frustration. We will learn a lesson from this, that when you play the better sides they will capitalise on every error you make. We let ourselves down with our lack of accuracy and that was the decisive factor in the end.”
Jones acknowledged that the young Ospreys had shown plenty of good intent in the defeat, but highlighted the need to work hard in training this week to get the right mix to their play.
“We were 18-11 with not long left on the clock, we were in bonus point range, and we were pressuring them - albeit we didn’t cross the line” he continued.
“That’s when we needed a bit more patience and keep grinding them down to get that result.
“In terms of intent to play, it’s certainly coming on for us. We were causing a very good side a lot of problems, they were scrambling in defence and in that 20 minute period in the second half they gave away six or seven penalties on the bounce at the breakdown, trying to slow our ball down. We just couldn’t get that crucial score at that point which could have made it a little bit different at the end.
“We have shown that we can cause teams problems but it’s about getting the blend right now. We’ve got to stay positive and keep working hard in training. We understand there’s a sense of frustration, we’ve got to bottle that and move on to the next game.”
There’s a quick turnaround for the team now, as they are back in action on Friday night away to Edinburgh, and Jones says it will be a good test of character for the squad:
“Edinburgh have changed a little bit under their new coach. They are a very physical team, so we can expect a big challenge from them. It’s important that we get our game right and impose ourselves on them.
“They’ll probably have a lot more experience through their side with the number of overseas players they’ve brought in this year, so it’ll be a good test for this group of players again. We don’t look for excuses here, young boys coming in are expected to step up and fight hard for the jersey. We need that attitude this week. Keep showing a will to play, be more accurate, and everybody know our roles, and we’ll see the kind of performance we want.”