With a play-off spot safely in the bag, Alun Wyn Jones wants the Ospreys to round the regular season off on a high, building momentum for the knockout stages – wherever they find themselves playing
On a big afternoon of rugby at the Millennium Stadium, the Ospreys were Judgement Day winners over Cardiff Blues on Saturday, running in four tries to claim a maximum haul and secure the top four finish.
It wasn’t all plain sailing for the Ospreys though, who trailed 9-0 shortly before the break after a stop start opening half an hour, and the Ospreys skipper knows that they’ll need to improve if they want to progress through the play-offs.
“Happy with the result, happy with where we’re at, the negatives are probably the start” was his post-match verdict.
“We were unconvincing at times and we coughed up a lot of possession. So happy with the result, but not how we got there.
“There was a large proportion of the game where we were pretty lacklustre. I don’t know the ball-in-play time but we conceded 15 turnovers in the first half as opposed to five in the second.
“I was asked before the game about the occasion and I think it probably did get to us. We gave away a nine-point lead, receded defensively and contained ourselves within our own 22.
“We managed to get out but we know we can’t afford to do that against Glasgow. We will need to play better. It’s important we turn up as a team, which we didn’t do in patches today.”
With just four points separating the top four the Ospreys remain well in contention for a potential home semi but Jones says the target has to be simply to perform consistently in the closing two rounds of fixtures:
“We want to win our remaining games regardless of whether we can secure a home semi-final. We want to win just to keep the momentum going. That’s what we’ll look to do and if we manage to get a home semi then that’s a positive by-product.
“We are in the play-offs, but it’s obviously a case of where we end up in the play-off now. Our focus can’t just be on a home semi now, we’ve got to look to win our last two games and see where we end up because obviously there are other games that will go some way to seeing where we end up as well.”
Next up are league leaders Glasgow who visit the Liberty Stadium in two weeks off the back of their own bonus point win on Saturday and Jones called in the Ospreylians in the Millennium Stadium crowd to back their region again in this crunch tie.
“Glasgow had a pretty good result themselves today, against Connacht, so it will be a pretty big game against them.
“There was a lot of Ospreys support here today and hopefully they’ll come and support us in that one.”