Ospreys skipper Alun Wyn Jones says 'It wasn't good enough' after defeat to Leinster in Heineken Cup at Liberty Stadium
OSPREYS skipper Alun Wyn Jones questioned the effort of his team after they slumped to a hugely damaging Heineken Cup defeat by Leinster at the Liberty.
The 19-9 reverse leaves the former Pro12 champions in dire straits in Europe after just one round of matches this term.
Jones was seething with himself and his side in the post-match press conference and made no attempt to sugar-coat the seriousness of the setback.
Disputing a claim from a reporter that the effort couldn't be questioned, he said: "I think you're wrong.
"I think you can question the effort at times. We have to be that tough on ourselves.
"We are getting turned over at wide rucks — why are we late there? Is it technique? Or is it getting to the ruck and hitting something in blue? I don't know and we'll have to have a look.
"I'm probably a bit emotional and reactive at the minute, but we'll assess it. Pardon the cliche, we're just fortunate we have a big game next week."
The Ospreys allowed the Pool 1 encounter to slip away after having the upper hand in the opening quarter.
They had the majority of possession but lacked shape and their runners frequently became isolated, leaving them prey to Leinster's back row at the breakdowns.
Ospreys assistant coach Gruff Rees shared Jones's view about the home players failing to match their Pro12 opponents for effort. "Al's right — there's footage to show Leinster players winning the race on a few things. That’s what disappoints us.”
It all means the side that had been considered Wales’s best hope for a last-eight spot will head for Northampton on Sunday knowing they have to win if they are to retain serious hopes of qualifying for the knockout stage.
But first their first challenge will be to wipe the Leinster loss from their system.
“I’m angry, and I made mistakes, and I think we should all be angry about the performance,” said Jones, who held his hand up and admitted to the call that saw the Ospreys spurn a kickable first-half penalty, instead opting for a scrum at which they were penalised.
“It was my call to go for the scrum. A few boys did not want to but I felt we were on top and had the ascendancy. The next thing you know it shifted and we conceded a penalty.
“I don’t want to say the scrum is becoming a lottery but it feels like it is going back to how it was.
“As a team we just know we are better than we showed against Leinster.
“When you have as much possession as we did and turn it over, you don’t deserve to win. Then we took our foot off the gas and let them back into the game.
“We made one glaring defensive error in the first half and they made the most of it to get their try.
“We weren’t good enough. It’s as simple as that.”