'We've got to smarten up our act'
GRUFF Rees pinpointed a lack of emotional control after watching the Ospreys contribute to their own downfall in the 19-9 Heineken Cup reverse against Leinster in Swansea.
The former Pro12 champions did themselves few favours with a series of questionable decisions that cost them points, among them a tap-penalty call by Tito Tebaldi which denied Dan Biggar the chance to bag a penalty that would have cut Leinster's lead to just a point in the third quarter.
The Ospreys also opted for a scrum instead of going for goal when 6-3 ahead in the opening half.
After both instances, Leinster went upfield themselves and harvested points.
It was particularly unfortunate for Tebaldi, who began the game well, but his decision to run the penalty was a microcosm of a poor team performance after the break by the Ospreys, with too many players operating as individuals.
Rees said: "We had a penalty at 13-9 which we took quickly and that was unforgivable, because it meant the score went to 16-9 and we were back under the pump.
"We have to be brutally honest with individuals. They have to be accountable, as do we as coaches.
"I love the player (Tito Tebaldi) in question to bits.
"I'm one of the reasons he came here and for the most part he's showing his ability of how we want a nine to play.
"But what he did was individual and doesn't fit us.
"He'll know it's a key moment which, while not costing us the game — I'd never say that — compounded the pressure we put ourselves under.
"We made bad decisions at key moments. We were not smart under pressure, while Leinster were the opposite, doing the right thing at the right time.
"We have to pick up this week and have a training programme with the right amount of rugby detail, but also generate a smartness and urgency in our game because at times we had no emotional control, which was disappointing."
The Ospreys also need to reflect on the poverty of their attacking play, with imprecise passing, poor alignment behind the scrum and a lack of invention allowing Leinster to absorb the home team's forward thrusts.
"We were too shallow and too lateral in attack," said Rees. "It meant Leinster won the race to the contact area and they killed us there.
"We had a couple of opportunities where we could have turned the tables on them but we did not look after the ball."