Lack of second half discipline cost Ospreys

On a disappointing night at Murrayfield, Gruff Rees had to watch as first a half-time lead and then, ultimately, even a losing bonus point was snatched away from the Ospreys grasp by the boot of Edinburgh's Gregor Hunter and Backs Coach Gruff Rees admitted post-match that the team's indiscipline had proven costly.

Going in at the break three points to the good, they were forced to play 20 second half minutes a man short after yellow cards for Owen Williams and Sam Lewis, while Hunter kicked five penalties in the final forty, to rub salt into Osprey wounds, the visitors failing to trouble the scorers again.

The final penalty, with time up, meant that the Ospreys left the Scottish capital empty handed, and speaking after the game, Rees was in no doubt that the Ospreys had got what they deserved.

“We’re very disappointed” he admitted.

“The territory and possession stats in the second half tells its own story.

“I actually thought we’d done reasonably well before the break. We showed good patience at times and had a good spell of possession where we went through 27 phases only to cough it up on their line.

“Although we conceded from a penalty just after that it was really pleasing that we responded well and actually got a seven pointer next time we were in their 22. We were digging deep, showing good character, and apart from one defensive slip-up I thought we were good value for the lead at half-time.

“It was a different story in the second half. We didn’t really get a foothold at all, got an early yellow card and never really recovered. It was a lesson in naivety really, we lost a bit of composure and contributed to our downfall. Some individual moments affected the flow of the game, and wrong choices at crucial times proved costly in the end. We got exactly what we deserved.

“We did get a rare opportunity thanks to some good work from Matthew but the penalty on the line meant that Edinburgh were able to clear the lines and the dynamics of the game changed.

“If I was to look for positives I’d say that this group hasn’t played too many games together and it’s another 80 minutes under the belt. We showed a good understanding of what we want to achieve in our game but it wasn’t enough against a side that will always make life difficult for you.

“I’d agree that we need to mature quickly and we can accelerate that in the week with the right focus and approach to training. Definitely, we need to grow as a group, continue showing the right attitude, and keep working hard. The main things I think from this is that individuals learn about making the right decisions. That can make such a big difference.

“We need to be disciplined and controlled or we’re always going to struggle as you can’t keep giving away three points after three points. We allowed Edinburgh to build up a lead in the second half without having to really work at it and ultimately it was those penalties that were the difference.

“We’ve got to pick ourselves up for Cardiff Blues next week and another massive game. We’ve been enjoying good support at the Liberty recently and we’d like to think it’ll be the same again on Friday night for a local derby. A big passionate crowd can make such a difference and can help to inspire the boys so it would be great.”