The Ospreys fell to a sixth Guinness PRO14 defeat of the season on Saturday night, Edinburgh claiming a bonus point win in the Round 8 fixture despite trailing their visitors for most of the first 40.
Having taken the lead for the first time with just eight minutes remaining in the opening half, Edinburgh proceeded to blow the Ospreys away after the break, Richard Cockerill’s men recorded a fifth consecutive win.
It was that disjointed second half showing that proved the most frustrating aspect of the night for the coaches.
“The second half performance was really disappointing” agreed Steve Tandy, talking to the press post-match.
“The majority of the first half was decent enough, we had plenty of possession and territory and it was an even contest with 10 or so minutes of the first half to go. We were definitely in a position to build from.
“When you are falling off tackles, losing too many collisions, then you find yourself on the wrong end of a heavy defeat like we saw tonight.”
It was all square at 10-all when Brendon Leonard was sin binned eight minutes before the interval, Edinburgh having leveled just two minutes prior.
Two penalties for the hosts meant that they enjoyed a six-point lead as they headed down the tunnel but there was little sign of the blitz that was to come in the second half. Tandy pointed to his team’s sluggish restart as critical:
“At half-time there was no need for anybody to panic. It was 16-10, we didn’t have long left to go on the yellow card, so it was a case of needing to start the second half strongly to play out the clock. We didn’t do that, we let them go the length of the field to score and that’s bitterly disappointing.
“We were always playing catch-up from there, we started chasing the game, and went from error to error, to error to passive tackle, compounding the situation.
“It’s not a position that we are used to being in as Ospreys but we are where we are right now because our performances haven’t been what we expect. The people who can put that right is ourselves and we have to face up to that challenge.”
The PRO14 breaks for two weeks now, the Anglo Welsh Cup seeing the Ospreys welcome Wasps to the Liberty Stadium on Friday night before the region heads east to play Cardiff Blues a week later. When the championship returns on the last weekend of November with high flying Glasgow at the Liberty Stadium before an away trip to Munster, nobody at the Ospreys is under any illusions about what is required.
“They are huge matches for us, there’s no getting away from that” was Tandy’s blunt assessment.
“We’ve got to get performances in that will allow us to get some wins on the board as we are falling too far behind where we want to be in the table. It’s up to us to put that right as a collective. Glasgow and Munster are tough opposition at any time but particularly so when you are scratching around at the wrong end of the table.
“I guarantee they’ll both be licking their lips at the prospect but we’ve got to come to the party. We’ve shown at times over the last month what we are capable of. We didn’t do that tonight and the scoreboard tells its own story.
“There are going to be a lot of people hurting and there’s going to be a lot of self reflection but there’s no getting away from the fact that tonight we weren’t good enough. We have to change that and ensure that when we face Glasgow after the Anglo-Welsh we are in a better position."