Jones is hit by injury setback
RYAN Jones is set to undergo further checks today on the injury that ruined his comeback appearance with the Ospreys.
Starting his first match since damaging a shoulder in Wales’s Six Nations encounter with Scotland on March 9, the 32-year-old suffered yet another setback.
Jones left the field early in the second half in the Ospreys’ 24-19 win over Treviso and cut a sad figure on the sidelines, obviously in pain and applying an ice pack to his right shoulder and upper arm area.
If anyone deserves good news it is the former Celtic Warrior, who has been hit by one reverse after another in recent times.
But even without their leader for the night, the Ospreys were able hold on and return from Italy with the spoils after an incredibly committed defensive performance.
Head coach Steve Tandy acclaimed the “great start” his side had made to their Pro12 campaign — but warned they face another tough test this weekend when they face champions Leinster in Dublin.
“I’m very, very happy with the team after that,” said Tandy.
“The effort and application were excellent and to go away from home on the first weekend of the season and pick up a win is a great start that gives us something to build on.
“We’re on the board. We’ve got to work hard this week to prepare for another tough one next Saturday. We won’t be getting carried away on the back of this one.”
Scott Baldwin and Ben John scored tries but the Ospreys were also indebted to the game management of Dan Biggar at Stadio Monigo, with the fly-half slotting two drop-goals to help keep the fired-up hosts at bay.
Biggar finished with 14 points to earn the man-of-the-match award, starting the season impressively and showing he has no plans to relax his grip on the Wales No. 10 jersey.
“What was really pleasing was that we played smart, making the right decisions at the right time, like when Dan took one of his drop-goals to put us eight clear,” said Tandy.
“Little moments like that can turn a game as it just makes the opposition change how they look at it. I think that was a big step forward.
“We knew how difficult it was going to be in Treviso after what happened last season, when we lost twice there. They started with 14 internationals and I think they had five or six more on the bench, but we came through the test.
“Some of the guys were out on their feet at the end, and some young players have done really well.
“The tackling late on was excellent, with all the players showing what playing for the Ospreys means to them.”
But if they are to win in Leinster, the Ospreys will need to improve their discipline after repeatedly incurring the wrath of Scottish referee Neil Paterson and his team of officials in northern Italy.
On one occasion, Paterson even contrived to penalise James King for an offence that TV replays showed he hadn’t committed, with a touch judge giving the wrong advice and the TMO failing to reverse the mistake.
Tandy added: “Our discipline at the end was first rate, but we’ve spoken in the dressing room about the need to be disciplined from the first minute as we gave away some cheap points that made it extremely difficult for us.
“The TMO had sent us back from their half right back to our own line but we handled that disappointment very well.”