After watching the Ospreys lose to Glasgow on Saturday afternoon, Steve Tandy was left to rue what might have been as the hosts took full advantage of their opponents errors.
All square at 10-10 at half-time, with the Ospreys looking comfortable, it seemed that the visitors could leave Scotstoun with something for their troubles. However, a disappointing second half saw Glasgow secure a try bonus while the Ospreys failed to even trouble the scorers despite long periods of possession and territory.
It was put to Tandy after the final whistle that the scoreline seemed particularly harsh given how the Ospreys had been in the contest for so long.
“I think I’d agree, but this is a brutal place to come” he agreed.
“If you slip off by any margin they’ll make you pay.
“We’ve given them two interceptions and another cheap three so that’s 17 points we’ve given away. We felt we defended pretty well for large parts but we weren’t clinical enough ourselves.
“We got into the right areas, spent time in the opposition 22, but we didn’t finish it off. There were some big moments, Jeff right before half time, Fonotia, there was that crucial scrum at 17-10, but I did feel we played some good stuff at times in the game.
“Our breakdown work was miles better, we held our shape pretty well and created opportunities. We played some good football but the scoreline didn’t reflect that in the end and, on the whole, that was down to our mistakes.”
In what seems a strange situation, Tandy was left reflecting on the improvements shown today despite the defeat, after a disappointing performance in victory last weekend in the first game of the new campaign.
“There were huge improvements on last week” Tandy insisted.
“I know if you look at the scoreline it doesn’t look like that. I’ve just been speaking to Dave (Rennie) and we talked about how we’d both gone toe to toe for long periods. You look at the game when it goes 24-10, there’s only seven it and we are pressing, there’s an interception and they are under the posts. That’s pretty brutal but it’s what happens if you aren’t accurate when you play the top teams.
“We got into the knockout zone where we wanted to be on a few occasions but couldn’t capitalise on it. I did feel throughout the game there were tries in it for us but we could have been a bit smarter, particularly as the game went on.
“The group are desperate and probably paid the price in the end for forcing it. They wanted to get the result, they felt that they probably deserved something from it, but we’ve got to control the game better and play smarter.
“The intent and endeavour we saw, and some of the football we played, was pleasing even if the outcome isn’t.”
There’s no time for the Ospreys to lick their wounds with Munster up next, visiting the Liberty Stadium next Saturday (3.15pm KO) and Tandy agreed that it is a game the hosts must be looking to get a win from.
“Big games are coming thick and fast and we are looking forward to going back to the Liberty next week.
“I know people get tired of hearing it being said but it is the truth, we need to perform, we need to get another win. We don’t want to start falling behind, we want to keep the pressure on the teams in our conference. For large parts today we thought we could get something.
“Munster is always a huge game and our focus is already on that one and hopefully getting the victory we need next Saturday in front of our own fans.”