After the disappointment of defeat on day one of the new PRO12 season, Steve Tandy has called on his troops to show their character against Munster at the Liberty Stadium next week.
The Ospreys conceded four tries to Ulster in defeat at the Kingspan Stadium in Belfast, failing to cross their opponents line even once, and it was clear that the performance had annoyed Head Coach Tandy when he reflected on the defeat an hour after the final whistle.
Despite missing 12 players on Rugby World Cup duty, expectation at the region will always remain high and Tandy admitted that the Ospreys hadn’t matched the standards he expected.
“To say I’m disappointed, well, that’s an understatement” said a clearly frustrated Tandy.
“We came out here expecting a much better performance but it didn’t happen for us. It was very unlike us, we slipped off tackles, conceded some cheap tries, and we didn’t trouble them defensively enough. What is frustrating is we didn’t deliver what we worked on during the week.
“Were we clinical? Accurate? Was there attention to detail in what we did? If we don’t get that, then you get a performance that isn’t where we want to be. There were positives but we don’t settle for anything less than 100 per cent and we certainly weren’t there tonight.”
Tandy was making no excuses as he urged the team to respond positively this week.
“There’s no point feeling sorry for ourselves, or looking to make excuses” he continued.
“We haven’t got time for that as we have Munster home next weekend and that’s as tough a challenge as you get. We’ve got to get straight back down to work to make sure we are ready for them, that we are better.
“It’s our first home game back at the Liberty, in front of our own supporters, and they’ll be expecting better, as we all will. That’s the challenge for us, and it’s a good test of character, but we’ve proven before that we can bounce back and rise to challenges like this.
“Of course it’s disappointing to start the season with a defeat but we have to keep everything in perspective. It’s day one, and it’s a cliché but it’s true, nothing is won in September.
“There’ll be criticism but we’ll keep our heads down and keep working, as we always do, to do the right thing for the Ospreys. In the general scheme of things we are in no different position than we were last year as we left here with nothing last season, but that doesn’t make it any easier to swallow tonight.
“It’s disappointing as we expected so much better but we know what we want to achieve and will be consistent in how we approach Munster next weekend. We need a positive performance so we’ll sit down, review this, assess the bumps and bruises, and get straight back on the horse.”