After watching the Ospreys suffer a home defeat in their second and final pre-season defeat, Head Coach Steve Tandy took a pragmatic view of his team's performance, stressing they have two weeks to get things right before launching their RaboDirect PRO12 defence underway in Treviso.
It was a frustrating afternoon for Tandy and his coaching team as Bath raced into a first half lead that was to prove insurmountable despite an improved second half showing, and despite acknowledging his disappointment at certain aspects of the Ospreys performance he insisted that there was plenty on show to be happy with.
Speaking to the press within minutes of the final whistle, he gave an honest appraisal of thing as always.
“I spoke to the boys just now and I told them I am disappointed” said Tandy.
“There’s no ifs and buts about it, but there were some glimpses and I’m sure when we review the footage we’ll pick the bones out of it and find some highlights. We did get opportunities to score in the second half, and early on we could have taken some points that were on offer but we didn’t. We went for field position, we tried to work on different things. It’s about practice to get things right.
“It’s the second game of pre-season and some of the guys are a little undercooked with the amount of rugby they’ve had. It was a first hit out for some of them. We’d have liked a better performance in certain areas if I’m honest but I thought some of the guys coming on in the second half put a bit of spark into us. I thought we showed a lot of intent to try and play but we probably overdid the offloads early doors and conceded some soft possession so we will review that.
“Obviously I’m disappointed but there are certain aspects I’m pleased with. It is pre-season, it is a means to an end. Am I disappointed with certain aspects of the performance? Yes, I am. There’s no getting away from that. We’ve used a lot of players today though and ultimately it’s about preparation for Treviso away in two weeks.
“We worked on some things out in Clermont and we want to bring a positive intent to the game, which I think we showed. There were a couple of opportunities where we did get outside Bath only to fumble the ball, turning it over. I think, if I’m honest, Bath were positive at the tackle contest area, we got turned over a few too many times for my liking and that’s something we’ve got a fortnight to work on and get it ready for Treviso.
“We can get too carried away with a pre-season game. There are aspects of our game that we did implement, we did try to do things. Particularly in the first half we’d cut them, then we’d force an offload and give possession back to Bath resulting in them trying to drive or kick it back to us. I’m disappointed that when we did cut the line we didn’t keep the ball for long enough periods.
“The young guys are coming through and we’ve had a chance to look at options over the last few weeks and for the internationals it was their first hit out. We know we have to up our game before we go to Treviso so we’ve got a fortnight prep time.
“We’re two games in, we’ve come off the back of a very physical week in training, and now we need to improve certain aspects before we go to Treviso. There’s no real right or wrong way to approach pre-season. We’re trying to manage what we’ve got, guys who are playing twelve month seasons. You look at people like Ian Evans and Alun Wyn and the questions were did we play them last week, or maybe give them a full game today?
“It’s a long season and you don’t want to be peaking for the first game. It’s got to be a gradual thing as you don’t want to be dropping off by Christmas time but we do need to be prepared and we need to do a lot of work to be right for Treviso away.”