Head Coach, Sean Holley, couldn't hide his disappointment and frustration after watching the Ospreys lose to London Irish on Sunday afternoon.
Speaking to a packed media room just minutes after the final whistle, he acknowledged that things hadn’t gone the Ospreys way from the very first whistle.
“It went wrong from the first minute, not getting over the line” he said.
“That set the tone for the afternoon. On five or six occasions we were two or three metres from the line and failed to get over it and score. That’s the story of our day really, we dropped too many balls and weren’t good enough to get through what turned out to be a pretty determined, ferocious Irish defence. We couldn’t get through them.
“It’s a pretty flat changing room at the moment. We certainly didn’t underestimate Irish coming into this. Credit to them. We talked about their threat coming from a pretty unstructured game, then we missed touch, we miss a tackle, they score. You’ve got to say that perhaps to that point they hadn’t been in the game. I’m sure that when I look at the possession and the territory stats I’m going to be crying into my tea.
“This pool has been a brutal one with sides beating each other. It’s becoming a very competitive competition, and we are going to see some very good teams, some very good players, not involved in the quarterfinals. That’s something we recognised when the pool came out, and I’m not sure the team that wins this pool will have a home quarterfinal. We’ll try and get as much as we can out of the disappointment and regroup like we did last year. We bounced back and got a trophy. Perhaps the saddest thing is that there is a strong possibility we won’t get a Welsh team in the last eight which is a bit of a worry.
“But, you can’t take anything away from them, we’ve got to look at ourselves. We weren’t clinical enough, and had we perhaps made some more clinical decisions at times the story would have been different. That’s something we’ll regroup and look at. It’s tough. All you can do is take experiences on board, learn from them as best you can and bounce back. That’s professional sport, it’s tough.
“The game plan was to keep it a bit more structured. To kick the ball off the field, pressure their lineout; force them to go to the front so they couldn’t get any of their dangerous runners into the game. When you miss the touch and then miss the tackle it brings them into the game and unfortunately, that probably gave them that lift of confidence they needed. We do keep fighting, we always show that, but we came up against a very resolute side today who were desperate to win.
“We were leading with minutes to go in Toulon and one or two players make a decision that costs you. We were winning in Munster, and again, crucial moments define games. It’s tough. You work your nuts off, all of us, the whole squad, the whole back room staff, and administration. You’ve got Toby (Booth, London Irish Coach), they’ve lost ten on the bounce and he’s like a Cheshire cat. It’s just the way it is. You’ve got to roll your sleeves up and get on with it. It doesn’t make it easier though I can tell you. It’s about small margins.
“I believe we’ve got a really strong coaching team, the introduction of Andrew and Scott has started to change our culture. With regards to the Ospreys, I think the future is bright, I do. We are seeing young talent coming through and we’ve just got to keep plugging away to get the recipe right. There are things going on behind the scenes to put a grounding in for the future of Ospreys Rugby. We are doing good things, we are developing young talent for our national team, we represent Wales the most out of the four regions and we push in the major competitions even if we haven’t got there this year. We are making change, we are putting things in place for the longevity for the Ospreys and we will bear fruits eventually.
“Adam has strained left elbow ligaments. I’ve just spoken to the medical team about it; it’s too early to go into too much detail. He felt he couldn’t continue, particularly with the lifting in the lineout. There will be further investigations tomorrow and Tuesday to discover the extent of the injury and we’ll update accordingly when we can.”