Alun Wyn Jones: Draw is the lesser of two evils
Ospreys captain reflects on his side's fightback to secure 19-19 draw with Racing Metro in the European Champions Cup
Alun Wyn Jones admitted that the Ospreys were content with a draw against European Champions Cup rivals Racing Metro.
The Ospreys were 16-6 down at the break, but grew into the game during the second half with Wales outside-half Dan Biggar slotting eight points off the tee to take his tally on the day to 14.
“We needed to win today, if we’re honest,” Jones said.
“I think a draw is the lesser of two evils. A loss or a draw? We’re obviously going to take the draw, and that’s what we got.”
A loss or a draw? We’re obviously going to take the draw, and that’s what we got.
Alun Wyn Jones
When Racing outside-half Johann Goosen landed a long-range drop-goal effort, the Ospreys trailed by seven points with seven minutes remaining, but got the converted try they needed as Justin Tipuric burst forward and offloaded to Rhys Webb, who fed Josh Matevesi to go over.
The Ospreys captain, back from playing every minute for Wales in three of their four Test matches last month, conceded that they took a while to get into the game, but managed to turn it around.
“The week has been pretty disjointed as a whole,” he added.
“I think Gruff [Rees] alluded to a few of us were pulled to get a bit of time off our feet, so we had about a day and a half all told as a squad.
“We can be pleased with that, but it’s testament to the guys that have been here to carry us through and, dare I say that word, integrate us back in.
“We felt as a squad that we were slow out of the blocks.
“I think 30 minutes we were in the ascendancy and fortunate to get early pressure on and weather the storm around the 60, and then we got that try to bring us back in.
“Bit patchy, but we think we grew into the game.”
Camped deep in their 22, the Ospreys had a chance at the death to go for the score that would give them the win, but instructions from the sideline saw Biggar nudge the ball into touch rather than risk turning over the ball and throwing their two points away.
“The most difficult think was that decision at the end,” Jones said.
“Had we had the ball in their 22, we’d have probably gone, but we were 10 minutes away from having nothing or one point, so it was a case of cutting our losses and take it, and ready to play next week.”