The Ospreys found themselves blown in away in the final 10 minutes at Welford Road on Sunday afternoon as three late Leicester tries saw them secure the win and clinch what had for most of the afternoon seemed an unlikely bonus point win.
Reflecting on the game after the final whistle, Ospreys Head Coach Steve Tandy admitted his disappointment at seeing so much hard work going without reward as Leicester posted a win that leaves them with five points alongside the Ospreys in Pool 2, both teams trailing leaders Toulouse by four points after their bonus point win in Treviso on Saturday.
“We’re obviously very disappointed” said Tandy.
“At 22-19 and under 10 minutes left we were well in the game so to come away nothing and to see them taking a bonus point right at the end, it’s a very disappointed dressing room if I’m honest.
“I felt that we tried to play some positive rugby although I think we showed a little less maturity than we should have in the last 10 minutes having got our way back into the game.
“We know what Leicester are, they are physical bunch. They would have been pretty disappointed with last week. I thought that some of the criticism they got was quite harsh and they proved today what a good team they are. We’ve said since the draw was made that it’s a tough group. We’re not out of it after this defeat, we just have to go back to back against Toulouse now and see how we do.
“We made some wrong options out there as a group if I’m honest, but to get four tries out of us didn’t really reflect the game I thought. We had control at the start but we spooned a few lineouts in positions where it could have got us a bit more of a grip on the game, but when you do go away to places like Leicester you’re never going to have it all your own way. It’s about how you deal with situations when things don’t go your way.
“We feel that some things didn’t go our way and we felt there was a lack of consistency in some of the decisions, but it just seems it wasn’t going to be our day. There were nine penalties from 14 scrums I think in total. It’s very frustrating to get a loosehead yellow carded and he’s still on his feet and bound on. We were disappointed with that and did feel there was a lack of consistency in the scrum area.
“At 10-all and with a yellow card I thought we dealt with it pretty comfortably, and then at 19-all with what, 12 minutes to go, I thought we were in a good place and could potentially go on and win the game. We are standing here now without a point which is really disappointing.
“Some of our kicks should probably have gone a bit more contestable, and I think we probably got the balance a bit wrong late in the game. Perhaps we could have driven a few more lineouts. For more than 70 minutes we were well in the game, away from home against a very good Leicester team but rugby isn’t about 70 minutes it’s about 80. We didn’t last the full 80 and we paid a very heavy price for that.
“We came here with confidence and like I said, 10 or 12 minutes to go we felt we were in a good spot so for us to go home with nothing and Leicester to manage a bonus point from that position isn’t what we deserved from the game. At 29-22 we are in their 22 with the ball, looking for the draw, we knock it on and they go the length of the pitch and score.”