Johnno happy to end with a win

Scott Johnson said he was pleased with a win against Toulon, but he insists it doesn't ease the pain of a pool stage exit from the Heineken Cup.


Speaking to a packed media room at the Liberty Stadium after the final whistle today he commented:

“We’re happy with the result, to have the win, but it doesn’t lessen the blow of being out of the competition. We’ve kept our home record intact but we couldn’t get enough points away. At the end of the day, we’ll take the win. I’d rather be sitting here with the win than a loss, put it that way.

“The boys have hurt this week, and so they should. We’ve all hurt, we’re all part of it. It was hard to pick them up and they started like that too. Like guys who have been down. Once they composed themselves a little bit I thought they did really well, it just took them a little while to get into the game. A few missed tackles and missed opportunities put pressure on us but I thought they showed good composure towards the latter end.

“In this competition there’s a fine line between winning and losing. We’ve had a pretty tough pool, we have, and we’ve won our home games. We just need to get it off our back, we just need a big win away somewhere in this competition and get confidence. We just haven’t mastered that art yet.

“Good perseverance, good diligence, and at the end of the day, a bit of luck comes your way, and you might just get across the line.

“I think when the game opens up it really suits James. He’s a wonderfully gifted player, he’s one of my favourite players, and he does some amazing things. The game suited him when it got a little bit free, and that’s when he comes into his own. That’s when he stands out a mile. I don’t regret anything, we’re just trying to get the balance right, and he does some great things.

“He has an amazing ability to beat people, the issue that he has as a 10 is taking demand of that spot. That’s easy when the game opens up and you don’t have to, when you start a game you may have to, so it’s the balancing of that. Can he do it? Sure he can. Whether it’s the best fit for him, I’ll leave that for others to decide.

“We’ve still got the Magners League to play for now, we want to be the first to win it back-to-back. That’s our ambition as a squad now. We will go through a difficult few months now where we lose some significant players but it’s a really good opportunity for some young kids to get a go out there. There are some great kids we saw out there today at stages, Justin Tipuric, Ryan Bevington, Rhys Webb, Ashley Beck, what the next few months do is give them a bit of time in the sun really. They are probably names that are not at the forefront of everybody’s minds at the moment but they will be in a short period of time.

“If we can hold that team together and be somewhere near striking distance when everyone comes back we’ll be looking pretty  good hopefully.”