Forwards Coach Chris Gibbes says the Ospreys have “lots to work on” next week after watching the young squad battle to a hard fought Welsh derby victory over the Dragons on Friday.
The win means the Ospreys remain unbeaten in the new Guinness PRO12 after two games, following on from the bonus point defeat of Benetton Treviso last weekend, but Gibbes revealed post-match that the coaching team have picked up plenty of areas for improvement from the performance at Rodney Parade.
Speaking to the press, Gibbes said:
“We are really happy to come and get four points here. It’s a tough place, we’re an inexperienced side, and to bring a young team here and get a result like that is good. Are we happy with the overall performance? Parts of it, but we made it hard work at times and we should have made it a bit of an easier ride for ourselves to be honest.
“I think these games come down to one or two opportunities, they don’t come very often and you’ve got to take those. There were some good performances across the park but overall as a team, while we are happy to come here and get the win, there’s lots to work on.”
The Kiwi wouldn’t get drawn when asked whether the winning start was the perfect riposte to pre-season critics, instead highlighting the character displayed on the night by the team.
“It makes no difference to us what people say about us. We know what we’re about, we’ve got a bigger picture that we’ve always talked about, we’ve got a young side that needs to learn and grow. Again today, as we spoke about in the week, whatever result we had today we had to learn from it and we have taken tons out of it. It just so happens that we got the result.
“We aren’t getting ahead of ourselves. We’ve got a young side and we can’t take anything for granted. We’ve got to go into every game with a mindset that we’re punching above our weight every week.
“For them to show that grit, and to dig in particularly in that fierce last 10 minutes, we’re proud of that. Steve’s just talked in the changing room about him being able to see some of the true Ospreys character coming through in that last couple of minutes. The defence on some of their ball carries was pretty good, we were putting them back, so to hear him talk like that is pleasing.
“What is important is that we’ve still got plenty to work on so we are definitely not getting too far ahead of ourselves. We’ll be back to work on Monday, nothing changes for us after this. We wanted to learn about ourselves tonight and we’ve done that. Result wise, we got that, but we made it hard work at times and there’s a lot to work out before we have Edinburgh coming at us a week Sunday. We need to get ready for that, one game at a time.
Reflecting on the late change after the withdrawal of Lloyd Peers, Gibbes also paid tribute to the replacement, Alun Wyn Jones.
“Hopefully Lloyd Peers will be fine next week. Fair play to Al, he put his hand up when the SOS call went out and he stepped straight in. For him to play 80 minutes at that intensity shows the character of the guy. We’re pretty proud of him, but we’re hoping that Lloyd has a quick turnaround so that we can still give Al the rest that he needs in terms of the big plan. He was worrying about being a little bit rusty going into the game. I know he’s hurting back in the shed at the minute but he’s dug in and I’m pretty happy with him.”