The Herald (South Africa)

Ospreys determined to do better

- George Byron byrong@tisoblacks­

OSPREYS interim coach Allen Clarke wants his team to be more ruthless when they face the Southern Kings at Swansea’s Liberty Stadium tomorrow.

Clarke was left to rue missed chances after his team went down 26-15 to Connacht in Galway, and he wants no repeat showing against the Kings.

“We know what we need to do these next three weeks,” he said.

“It’s critically important that we are going back to the Liberty for back-to-back games against the Kings and Cheetahs and we must all pull together.

“There are aspects of our game that need tidying up, but we have that intent to play the game with the ball in hand and when we get our opportunit­ies we have to be more ruthless.”

The interim head coach was overseeing his first PRO14 game, a contest in which the Ospreys dominated for long periods but were unable to make it count.

“It’s hugely frustratin­g to come to Connacht and own possession of the ball and field position, but to go away without any points. “It’s most disappoint­ing. “At times that was down to errors, at times it was down to our discipline.

“There were key moments in the game, like just before half time where we’d gone penalty, penalty and conceded a cheap score.

“That meant there was a bit of a momentum swing.”

On several occasions the Ospreys turned down kickable penalties to go for the corner, only to see their progress halted by turnovers or penalties conceded.

“We’ve got three big games coming up now. We are not going to take a step back. I don’t want us to be conservati­ve.

“There was a huge amount of honesty in the changing room afterwards with regard to what we can do better.

“The boys are gutted. They recognise we played some really good rugby at times.

“They enjoyed it, they used that word, they really enjoyed playing with ball in hand, but we hurt ourselves.

“We let a game that, in all honesty, we should have won, slip away from our grasp.”

The Kings have some injury headaches ahead of the clash.

After a heavy 59-10 defeat by Ulster on Friday, some Kings players found themselves in the medical room at Belfast’s Kingspan Stadium.

Kings team doctor Clement Plaatjies said scrumhalf Rowan Gouws and prop forward Dayan van der Westhuizen had sustained ankle injuries.

There are also concerns over the fitness of flyhalf Martin du Toit, who was forced to leave the field late in the game with a recurrence of the stiff lower back injury.

Tomorrow’s game in Swansea kicks off at 9.35pm and will be shown live on SS1.

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