First half cost Blues – Hammett

Date published: October 13 2014

Cardiff Blues boss Mark Hammett admitted that his side’s first half effort cost them in Sunday’s 26-15 loss to the Ospreys.

Cardiff Blues boss Mark Hammett admitted that his side’s first half performance cost them in Sunday’s 26-15 loss to the Ospreys in Swansea.

Ospreys opened up a 19-3 lead at the break as the boot of Dan Biggar and a try from Dan Evans saw the home side dominate territory and possession.

Blues showed plenty of spirit in the second half and were rewarded with late scores from Lloyd Williams and Kristian Dacey.

However, Hammett was taking nothing away from the impressive Ospreys and admitted his side would now need to respond as European competition takes centre stage in the coming weeks.

“We will take heart from the fact that we didn’t give up, but we had the chase the game and that is something we’ve had to do too much recently,” he told Cardiff Blues’ official website.

“The good things came way too late. While we had some good shape late on and put pressure on in the last 20 minutes, the game was won by Ospreys by then.

“I thought the Ospreys played very well.

“In terms of territory, I thought they battered us and their kicking game was good.

“The penalty count, which was high against us at half-time, hurt us and when you are on the end of that it equals points or position.

“At half-time that had 67 percent territory and that cost us. In the first half we probably only really had three or four areas where we could launch from and that is just not enough.

“The boys were up for it and you could see that in our physicality. You could see that through our counter drive at line-out time.

“The intent was there, but intent without direction is not always positive.”

Reflecting on the opening six rounds of the PRO12 season, Hammett insisted Cardiff Blues would benefit from the difficult run of results in the long-term.

“I’m not down hearted,” he said.

“I hate losing as much as anyone, but I’ve come in and inherited a group.

“I care for them already, but there are some realities of where we are and when you are going through a period of change and trying to develop these things don’t come quicker.

“It will take time.”