Slow-starting Ospreys making too many basic mistakes, says try-scorer Hanno Dirksen
HANNO Dirksen acknowledged sides were targeting Pro12 champions Ospreys this season — but stressed the region had beaten themselves in Saturday's dour encounter with Ulster at the Liberty.
The region fell to their second successive defeat as the men from Northern Ireland hit back to claim a 16-13 verdict.
Dirksen did his bit for the hosts by scoring a stunning solo try.
But an abundance of errors, especially behind the scrum, meant the Ospreys saw the spoils again go elsewhere.
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"Everyone may be hyped up to beat us after our success last season, but we are losing to ourselves with all the mistakes we are making," said Dirksen.
"We just have to make sure we improve for the game with Glasgow on Friday.
"We have to keep the ball and stop making the silly errors that are giving the opposition three, six, nine points."
The Ospreys couldn't cope with Ulster's power and quality off the bench, with props Tom Court and John Afoa, flanker Stephen Ferris, Andrew Trimble and half-backs Paddy Jackson and Paul Marshall all making telling contributions. But they didn't help themselves with handling and passing that were woeful at times.
The home performance was a major let-down for the encouraging crowd of 8,566 that turned up in Swansea, and skipper Alun Wyn Jones accepts the time for talking has passed. Now, the need is for deeds rather than words.
"We've got to stop just saying we're disappointed," said Jones. "We have to react to it. We created chances again but didn't take them.
"We have to look around the room and sort it out between ourselves. We have to work hard to put it right.
"It was a slight improvement from the Treviso game the previous weekend but we're bitterly disappointed to squander the ten-point lead we had. We were better at the breakdown but still not good enough.
"We have to take our chances when we are in the opposition 22. We squandered three good opportunities the week before against Treviso and there were chances again this time that we didn't execute well enough. We have to put that right.
"There's a big sense of disappointment we didn't get the win, especially at home.
"We may have picked up a losing bonus point but it's still not good enough by our standards.
"We are not going to worry about the expectation on the outside of the camp. We'll worry about what happens and what is thought on the inside of it.
"As of yet, we aren't fulfilling our own expectations."
Jones added: "We haven't been able to kick on from last season but we mustn't look back. We have to look forward to what we want to achieve."