Tandy vow to battle in Europe
STEVE Tandy insisted the Ospreys would continue to fight in the Heineken Cup — but acknowledged they would have to break new ground to reach the knockout stages.
They fell to a 27-16 defeat to Northampton yesterday, eight days after coming unstuck against Leinster in Swansea.
And that leaves them needing to do what no side has ever managed to do in the history of the Heineken Cup if they are to qualify for the last eight.
"No-one has ever qualified from losing their first two games, but we will be preparing for Castres in December as if we are still involved," said Tandy.
"We need to pick up points and wins in the Heineken this year.
"In this tournament, it is unforgiving. If you don't take your opportunities or get the bounce of the ball, then it does get difficult. We had opportunities, but didn't quite take them."
Once again it was a tale of missed opportunities for the Ospreys.
They had three half-chances in the first half but spurned the lot.
Dan Biggar did muster a try after the break but it wasn't enough, with Northampton scoring three all told and running out worthy winners.
The former Pro12 champions gave it their best shot after a poor first half, and Biggar, Richard Hibbard, Ryan Bevington and Alun Wyn Jones all stood out with hugely committed shows.
But it wasn't enough.
"In a weird way it's more satisfying than last week — still disappointing we didn't get a result, but the group showed their true character. It would have been easy to fold and cave in at 17-6 down and leave the tournament go, but the boys didn't do that. When people put them down they keep fighting.
"It is about big moments, and a couple of times we didn't have the rub of the green. That said, sometimes we don't help ourselves.
"We had opportunities but didn't take them."
Saints outscored the Ospreys by three tries to one, reaping rewards for their greater physicality and their ability to translate pressure into points.