After watching the Ospreys go down fighting at the RDS on Friday night, Steve Tandy says that the team will be “positive” going to Belfast next weekend to face Ulster.
After a cagey opening at the RDS, Leinster were able to roar into a 24-0 interval lead and Tandy’s frustration was evident.
“It was bitterly disappointing” he said.
“The first half performance wasn’t what we want to be. There was indiscipline, we didn’t look after the ball and that meant we were inviting Leinster on to us. We couldn’t get any respite and the pressure told. We gave ourselves too much to claw back.
“I know that people will ask about complacency but that wasn’t a factor. We knew that we weren’t world-beaters after three games. If anyone did think that, then they’ve had the answer. You can’t come to the RDS and give away possession, cheap turnovers and penalties, and expect to get anything. Leinster are a decent team, they grind you down if you let them and it takes its toll. We didn’t deal with the game as it was playing out, we didn’t understand where we were at times and the outcome was pretty clear.”
As if the first 40 wasn’t disappointing enough, Leinster added a fourth try straight after the break to secure a bonus point and take any hopes of an unlikely win away from the Ospreys.
Tandy said that the half-time message hadn’t been one of despondency as the belief had been there that there would be opportunities in the game, which made the early second half score all the more disappointing.
“I wouldn’t say half-time was about shutting up shop. We wanted to be positive, we wanted to play and we believed that there were tries in it for us, which was how it turned out.
“Accepting that they had taken the game away from us, we believed there were points out there. Given the limited possession we had in the first half we still had one or two good opportunities that we didn’t take.
“Ultimately, we are bitterly disappointed. We felt that we were coming here to perform but, in that first half, we didn’t. It was more or less dead by half time, then they scored straight after half time. If you look back at Connacht two weeks ago, we were in control right from the start, we kept the ball for long passages, we were disciplined in what we were doing and we were worthy winners. The exact opposite of how we started the game tonight.
“You know that you will always have a tough game when you come to the RDS, we’ve come here and played well but left with nothing. Tonight wasn’t one of those occasions, we were pretty big in our own downfall.”
Next weekend sees the Ospreys heading back to Ireland to face new PRO12 leaders Ulster in Belfast and Tandy said that there will need to be improvements:
“It wasn’t about a lack of effort. That was there but some of the detail was out, some of the discipline, and we made it difficult for ourselves. It doesn’t get any easier with Ulster away next week.
“We knew it was a strange start to the season with two home games and three away trips to Ireland. We’ve one won of the two Irish trips to go with the home games so we can’t be downhearted, it’s still a solid start to the season but as we’ve said all along, that’s all it’s been, a start. We’ll be positive going to Ulster but well aware that we need to be much better right from the first whistle.”