The Ospreys will refuse to throw the towel in despite Heineken Cup defeat at Franklin’s Gardens.
Steve Tandy has vowed that the Ospreys will keep fighting despite two defeats from two Pool 1 games in the Heineken Cup.
Opening weekend defeat at the Liberty against Leinster was followed on Sunday lunchtime by a loss at the hands of Northampton Saints, and despite failing to even pick up a losing bonus point yet, Tandy refused to accept that the Ospreys’ interests are already over when he spoke to the press after the match.
“It was very frustrating” said Tandy.
“We gave too many turnovers in the first 20 or 30 minutes, I think it was seven, but after going in 17-6 at half-time I thought the team really responded.
“We didn’t get the rub of the green at times but we didn’t help ourselves. There’s not much you can do when you keep turning over the ball. In that first 30 minutes, 88 per cent of our possessions we turned the ball over. That’s a pretty big stat.
“In the second half we dominated territory more, we executed our game plan better, and that enabled us to get boys into the game more. When you are turning over the ball it’s difficult to do that effectively but second half we managed that better.
“When we came back to 17-13 I really did think we were going to turn the corner, we were building momentum but there was a shift when we ended up back down the other end conceding a sloppy try. We did leave ourselves too much to do but there was some positive stuff from us as well.
“This tournament is unforgiving and it can be down to the bounce of a ball. Look at Jeff at the end of the first half, going down the wing and if it bounces up he’s probably under the posts. You get opportunities but if you don’t take them, if you don’t bet that bounce of the ball, that is how fine the margins are.
“Look at the Tips and Becky one when it’s called a knock-on, those kind of things, they are huge moments. We had opportunities and didn’t quite take them. In a weird way it’s more satisfying than it was last week, despite the disappointment. The group showed true character. At 17-6 down it would have been quite easy for them to throw the towel in and leave the tournament go but they showed plenty of fight.
“No one has ever qualified from losing their first two games. We’ll prepare for Castres in December as though we’re still involved in the running. We need to pick up some points, pick up some wins. We’ll keep fighting, keep trying to get through in this tournament.”