Mixed emotions for Ospreys

Date published: December 20 2015

Ospreys backs coach Gruff Rees had mixed emotions after his side lost to Bordeaux-Bègles in a thrilling Champions Cup meeting on Saturday.

The French side won 33-27 at Stade Chaban-Delmas but Ospreys did secure two crucial match points, which keeps them top of Pool 2 for now.

Clermont and Exeter face off on Sunday and the Chiefs could hit the summit with a positive result, with Clermont currently sitting bottom.

For the Ospreys though they go into the break from European action in a decent position but one that Rees admits could have been better.

"We're disappointed," he told the region's website.

"Looking at the game, Bordeaux are a powerful outfit but I don't think they had to work for their scores. A couple of them have come from our inaccuracies when we've been trying to create some pressure of our own.

"We're too loose and we don't create sustained pressure for all the good in our game, and it is positive, especially the way we showed character.

"We feel that we allowed some of their big runners the momentum and given them two cheap tries as well. That's a game where we feel we dropped points and not gained.

“At half-time it was reminiscent of Clermont. Okay, take a breath, pull our sleeves up and off we go again, really. We felt we had the game to cause them some defensive problems and we showed that.

"Again, it shows the character within this group, they always battle and the leaders drive that continuously. Again, in the second-half, we've had period when we've got in the 22 but it's been brief and we haven't really been able to put our foot on their throat and keep it there. I thought we had the chance to do that."

Rees acknowledged that Bordeaux had been handed the early initiative due to Ospreys errors, and he says that it's important lessons are learned from the contest.

"The first try they scored came from a poor exit from us," said Rees.

"We were 7-0 down but we were positive, caught them on the short side, but that probably got us almost too excited to go with a bit of width to our game.

"They obviously got defensive message on and were going higher and faster and, for a period, we didn't deal with that. We tried to overdo it and, yes, we've come to play football here but the learning around the group is where and how to play football, where to be direct and where you can open up. We didn't get the balance right today."