Time to “stop learning” says skipper

After the disappointment of a second Guinness PRO12 semi-final defeat in three seasons at Thomond Park, Alun Wyn Jones said it’s time for the Ospreys to “stop learning and get on with it”.

The skipper returned from injury to lead the region into battle against Munster on Saturday, in what proved to be a frustrating and fruitless afternoon as Munster pulled away in the final quarter, turning an 8-3 lead into a crushing 23-3 victory.

The final score board failed to reflect the effort and endeavour that had been put in by the Ospreys over the first hour but Jones said the team only had themselves to blame for the final outcome.

“Once they scored in the second half there was a big shift of momentum” he said.

“We felt we were in the arm wrestle for long periods but every time we got in the 22 we coughed up possession pretty easily.

“We knew we were going to be under pressure at set piece time but when we did win the ball, we can't give it away that easy. Territory and possession will be interesting stats to look at, particularly in the first half.

“Credit to Munster, they stifled us and put us under pressure. What we did with in the 22 was the most disappointing aspect. You can’t cough it up unnecessarily against Munster.

“I think all teams would rather finish well that start well than finish the season like we have, to falter at the end.

“The one saving grace for us was that recent form would could for nothing and that was the case for 60 minutes of that game. It was the same old, we had a lot of possession but what we did with it wasn’t what we would have liked.”

Jones was in no mood for excuses, insisting the time for learning is over:

“We’ve got a lot of young guys and, to a man, I think everybody is trying to do the right thing, to get us on the right foot. There’s been some great parts to our season but we’ve got to stop learning at this time of year.

“"I think you look at our season, the last three, in terms of play-off, falling out of the Champions Cup, then back in, then got to another play-off and faltered around this time of year.

"So it’s something we definitely have to look at. There's plenty there to work on, but we've got to stop learning and get on with it."