Scott Johnson was in reflective mood after a draw at Welford Road, but insisted that the Ospreys can be pleased to have taken two points from a difficult away fixture.
Challenging his players to build on the draw when they entertain Clermont Auvergne at the Liberty Stadium next Sunday (KO 12.45pm), he told the press post-match:
“If you’d asked us would we take the two points prior to coming here we would, but then we’re totally disappointed at the end. We started poorly and conceded some easy points, but to come back and really control the scoreboard for a large percentage of the game was a positive thing and do some really good things was great.
“The downside was the obvious one, we couldn’t get enough quality ball to play off, they held the ball for large periods of time and we were under the cosh. Fair play to Leicester, you come here and they do that to you, it doesn’t happen by chance, they’ve done really well to do that. When you can’t get the ball, it’s hard to play footy. There were positives in the fact that with limited ball and on shaky ground to start with, we showed great composure and the young kid at 10 did wonderfully well. He’s only 19 years old, and to handle what he did today, after the start he had where he missed the first tackle that probably led to the try, to come back and play the part that he did, is a testament to his toughness. We talk about toughness in the physical side of the game but there’s also a mental side, and the kid did well. We’ve got high hopes for him, and having a player like Hooky outside him gives him a bit of composure. Both of them can play footy, and I love playing footy so it’s a nice combination.
“I’m really disappointed in that we had such a commanding lead. When you have such a lead, a draw is disappointing. But, fair play to them, they’ve got such a strong area of the game, that’s where they get their identity from, and people forget that we’ve still got some quality players out in that area at the moment. It’s an area of the game where I can see us improving as we go along over the year. We did some good work in that area, we knew where we were in that department so we aren’t kidding ourselves. We are relatively inexperienced on a certain side of the scrum but it’ll come, and the only chance to get that experience is to keep playing.
“Like I said, we’d have taken it when the pools were announced, two points coming here. It’s the same in all the Pool’s at this stage, your destiny is in your own hands, so we’ve just got to look at ourselves, and if we can control the scoreboard for a full 80 minutes next week, we’ll be happier. It’s a pretty imposing group, but you want to challenge yourself against the best.”