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Page last updated at 11:58 GMT, Monday, 30 March 2009 12:58 UK

Ospreys display comes under fire

Will James has James Hook by the throat at Ricoh Arena
Will James has James Hook by the throat at Ricoh Arena

Ex-Wales captains Gwyn Jones and Robert Jones have criticised the Ospreys after their latest big-game disappointment.

The pundits told Scrum V the star-studded Welsh region's 17-0 EDF Energy Cup semi-final defeat by Gloucester was further evidence of underperformance.

Ex-Wales flanker Gwyn Jones said: "You just look at them and think: 'What are they trying to do?'"

Robert Jones summed up the Ospreys form as: "No patience, no control and… no real direction."

The ex-Wales and Lions scrum-half added: "They're not taking their opportunities. They're not playing collectively well."

Gwyn Jones said head coach Sean Holley needed to realise he was no longer coaching Hartpury College, where he worked before taking up a role with the Welsh region.

He said: "I wouldn't say that was a particularly uncharacteristic Ospreys performance.

606: DEBATE
welshosprey72

"Lots of outstanding individuals, a lot of line-breaks, but you look at them as a collective and you don't know what the pattern is, what the objective is when they've got the ball.

"I know they made a conscious effort over the last year because they had so many players in the Welsh team for the Ospreys and the Welsh teams to be more similar, i.e. to copy Wales and the way they've been playing.

"And they've been trying to do that, but it hasn't worked for them so well this year.

"They haven't had the luxury of too many training sessions recently, but I know this has been a concerted effort all season to copy Wales.

"They certainly tried to do it after winning the Grand Slam last year.

"They tried to incorporate all the things. They had so many players involved. But you can see it's a lack of coherent thinking and it's the half-backs mainly.

"[James] Hook is a talented guy who's made a lot of breaks.

"But with that amount of possession you really should have a team by the unmentionables, shouldn't you? And be able to control it. You just never feel it with them."

Leicester win cups - they kick everything. Munster win cups. Ireland have just won a Grand Slam playing pretty conservative, negative rugby. You take your points. This is professional rugby

Gwyn Jones

Gwyn Jones said Holley's post-match assessment about the Ospreys lacking a clinical edge failed to address the issue of why they chose not to kick for goal when opportunities arose.

He added: "He's talking about being clinical and not being clinical. There's your chance - you take your points. Leicester win cups - they kick everything.

"Munster win cups. Ireland have just won a Grand Slam playing pretty conservative, negative rugby. You take your points. This is professional rugby.

"You are not coaching Hartpury, you're coaching professional players - trophies are at stake."

Robert Jones said: "It was a hugely disappointing performance.

"I thought the game as a whole was poor. As much as Dean Ryan has said he is delighted with a win if they go and play that way against the Blues in the final the Blues will have a field day.

"Sean Holley has spoken about being positive and playing positively and ultimately it's the semi-final of a cup competition and you take the points when they're on offer.

"It was always going to be a close game and after 20-25 minutes they'd created an awful lot, but hadn't put any points on the board.

"So you expect them then to at least take the opportunities when they arise. It's very much part of the way the Ospreys are at the moment.

"They're not taking their opportunities. They're not playing collectively well. They're a group of individuals and talented individuals."



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see also
Ryan praises Gloucester's defence
28 Mar 09 |  Rugby Union
Lions fears for injured star trio
28 Mar 09 |  Rugby Union
Gloucester 17-0 Ospreys
28 Mar 09 |  Rugby Union
Cardiff Blues 11-5 Northampton
28 Mar 09 |  Rugby Union
EDF Energy Anglo-Welsh Cup 2008/9
19 Jun 08 |  Rugby Union
Rugby union on the BBC
05 Feb 09 |  Rugby Union
BBC Sport Wales coverage
03 Oct 11 |  Wales
Anglo-Welsh Cup archive
24 Jul 06 |  Welsh


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