Holley pleased with Ospreys youngsters

Head Coach Sean Holley says that he's disappointed with the result against Northampton Saints, but impressed by the performance of the new wave of Ospreys.

Speaking to the media after the 19-17 defeat to Northampton Saints in the LV= Cup on Thursday evening, he said:

“I’m pretty disappointed. I thought we started poorly, in the first 20 minutes we didn’t get to grips with the game and there were a lot of errors. But on reflection, I think it turned out to be quite a brave performance in the end. We lost Ian Gough early on, our captain and last standing second row, but I’m pretty proud of some of the youngsters, who came on and put on a brave. Having outscored them two tries to one, a couple of kicks here or there and a really disappointing try to concede, it might have been a different story.

“Both sides made some errors, but it’s fair to say we were on our last legs out there, we lost Barry Davies just before kick off, Ian Gough, Richard Hibbard and Filo Tiatia were injured. It’s very difficult. We had some inexperienced players out there, some boys who haven’t played at the Liberty before, and you tend to get errors. There were some good signs, a lot of endeavour, but the execution and skill was disappointing. We did have some harsh words at half time about the lack of skill and poor execution. We were a little bit passive around the contact area and were coming second best, and I think we addressed that a little bit in the second half.

“You can look at the negatives, we missed a lot of players, not just through internationals but also injuries, but at the same time, you get to expose some youngsters. By the end of the game, we were down to our 9th and 10th choice second rows. We get dealt the cards and we have to deal with them. We wanted to win tonight, we tried to put the strongest possible team we could at the start to try and get a win, but it wasn’t to be. Quite honestly, it’s what we have left standing. Filo’s come off injured tonight, Ian Gough has done some ribs, Richard Hibbard’s got a neck injury, Barry Davies has a back spasm and you can’t afford to lose players of that calibre at this stage of the season.

“We had some great performances off the bench tonight, people like Justin Tipuric and James King, I thought they were outstanding when they were on there. Ed Shervington had a point to prove. We have to go to Bath next week, on a big stage against a top Guinness Premiership team, and expose some youngsters and give them their head. Maybe some of them were a little bit nervous tonight, hence the errors, but now the pressures off and they can just go for it.”