Ospreys must improve if they are to beat Leicester, says Adam Jones
ADAM Jones has warned the Ospreys they must drastically improve after their uninspiring win over Zebre — or risk being "stuffed" by Leicester next weekend.
The Ospreys limped to a 16-15 home victory over the Italian strugglers on Friday, a fourth successive RaboDirect Pro12 triumph which took them into the play-off places.
But with two-time European champions Leicester visiting the Liberty Stadium for a crucial Heineken Cup contest on Sunday, Wales prop Jones has told his team-mates they cannot afford a repeat of their performance against Zebre.
"It's obviously a big step up against Leicester. As a pack, we've got to raise our game," he said.
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"We've been pretty good recently. We were good against Toulouse and we know when we're up there we can match anyone.
"We're going to get stuffed if we turn up like we did on Friday."
The Ospreys and Leicester have developed a tempestuous rivalry over the past decade, with a number of fiery encounters in European and Anglo-Welsh competitions.
Sunday's meeting in Swansea will be pivotal to both sides' hopes of progressing to the Heineken Cup quarter-finals, with Pool 2 leaders Leicester currently five points ahead of the third-placed Ospreys with two games to play.
The high stakes will add fuel to the fire of an already heated rivalry, and Jones is looking forward to renewing hostilities.
"I don't really know how it came about. We haven't been a region that long but I think it was when we played them in 2005 — it was one hell of a game (Leicester won 17-15 at the Liberty)," he said.
"I think (Dan) Hipkiss scored in the last minute.
"There's no love lost. We know what a good side they are. We were disappointed with our last ten minutes when we lost up at Welford Road this season.
"You've got to raise your game. It's one hell of a side, with a hell of a forward pack.
"Anyone who can bring on (Argentina prop Marcos) Ayerza and Castro (Italy prop Martin Castrogiovanni) is going to be a challenge."
The win over Zebre was Jones's first ever match as Ospreys captain and, although the performance detracted slightly from the occasion, the 31-year-old was still delighted to lead his side.
"I think it's been a long time coming — I should have been captain a long time ago," he joked.
"It's a big honour for me to be captain and I was chuffed to bits the coaches asked me to do it.
"At least I got a win. We were rubbish to be honest with you. I think when we've been good recently we've been doing everything simply, but we got caught trying to play in the wrong areas.
"It was frustrating because we know it's going to be ten times harder next week."