Racing Metro game is now the key for the Ospreys says skipper
After a disappointing 80 minutes against the reigning English champions and current Premiership leaders, Alun Wyn Jones said that the Ospreys had failed to rise to the challenge and punch above their weight.
After an even first quarter with little to separate the two teams, the hosts looked to turn the screw as the half hour approached, a sustained spell of pressure on the Ospreys line finally gaining reward as the visitors struggled to stay in touch.
At the final whistle the Ospreys were well beaten, and Jones told the media that as good as Northampton had been he was disappointed with his team’s showing.
“I said in interviews earlier in the week that first 20 minutes we needed to be within a score to be in with a shout and we were, until the pressure compounded and we broke after the two had been disallowed” he said.
“After that we put our half backs under pressure when we had the ball by not securing the rucks etc. You can’t just shovel the ball along the line and expect them to put a decent exiting kick in.
“I thought Northampton were ruthless as we expected, if they had a sniff they took the opportunity. They did that well on the counter, I think we got caught on the short side a couple of times when we actually exited pretty well but thought we’d got out of jail probably too early. They’ve played some decent open-play rugby and made us pay.
“Northampton are where they are in the Premiership for a reason. We went into the game with the confidence of a good start in the PRO12 but we weren’t saying we are brilliant because without wanting to sound defeatist, we’re not brilliant. We know that, but you can only play what’s in front of you and you can only beat what’s in front of you.
“We’ve done that in the PRO12 to a degree where we are probably still not happy with how we’ve been playing. We knew a stern test was going to come along where we’d need to punch above our weight, something we’ve done already, but we didn’t do that today.
“When you go on a winning streak, or whatever you want you to call it, it can become a monkey on your back. That’s gone now, that’s off, but we felt we could have come out of this game in semi-control of the pool. We haven’t done that and it’s wide open again.
“Some guys are going to get an opportunity now during the autumn internationals and that has to be a positive for us. It’s a good opportunity for some guys to put their hands up going into a busy December and Christmas period.
“We’ve got Racing back to back and the first game at the Liberty is key, we’ve got to nail that one.”