Benetton Treviso 23 Ospreys 20: Chris Gibbes admits Welsh side were poor

Welsh region conceded a last-minute penalty try to lose their final European Champions Cup match in Italy

Chris Gibbes admitted the Ospreys fell short of their high standards as they limped out of the European Champions Cup.

The Ospreys forwards coach saw his side concede a last-minute penalty try as they went down 23-20 to Italian whipping boys Benetton Treviso at the Stadio Monigo in a match they were expected to win.

The guys know they didn’t play well, they know they didn’t represent the Ospreys to the standard we expect, and at the end of the day, it’s just not good enough.

Chris Gibbes

Treviso went in at the break 16-12 up with tries from Angelo Esposito and Marco Barbini and two penalty goals from full-back Jayden Hayward cancelled out scores from James King and Eli Walker, before outside-half Sam Davies slotted a penalty on 52 minutes and Richard Fussell’s try with 10 minutes remaining.

It was a disappointing way for the Welsh region to exit the tournament despite being unable to qualify for the quarter-finals having thrashed their Guinness PRO12 rivals twice at the Liberty Stadium earlier in the season.

“It’s pretty poor,” Gibbes said. “It’s a pretty quiet dressing room.

“The guys know they didn’t play well, they know they didn’t represent the Ospreys to the standard we expect, and at the end of the day, it’s just not good enough.

“We lacked physicality in certain areas and that’s not the Ospreys way.

“That’s something we’ve spoken about after the game in the changing room, every time you pull an Ospreys jersey on there’s an expectation on you, and we didn’t fulfil that today.

“The pressure that we found ourselves under was of our own doing.”

With the match an effective dead rubber, Wales internationals Dan Biggar, Rhys Webb, Alun Wyn Jones and Dan Lydiate were all missing from the starting XV.

Gibbes conceded the make-shift, youthful side created plenty of chances but lacked discipline against a side with nothing but pride to play for.

“I thought we created a lot in the game, we had a lot of line breaks, a hell of a lot more than usual, but I think we lacked discipline, we lacked that relentless ability to hold onto the ball and put teams away,” he added.

“Too often we were putting them under pressure and ended up back defending, because of our own mistakes.

“Our work at the breakdown was poor, we got pushed off the ball.

“We didn’t look after the ball, respect possession, and that’s the fundamentals of rugby.

“We clearly didn’t do that today.”

But the forwards coach would have been most disappointed by the failures at the set-pieces, twice losing the scrum on their own feed.

I thought we’ve done enough to win it but it’s our mistakes, again, our errors, that are costing us.

Chris Gibbes

Seeking a second surprise victory over the Ospreys, as was the case when the two sides met in the same round of the competition at the same venue in January 2013, the Leone threw the kitchen sink at the Ospreys tryline, and the decisive moment came after Sam Christie was held up.

From the resulting scrum, the Ospreys pack crumbled and French referee Mathieu Raynal had little choice but to award a penalty try, with Hayward adding the extras to seal the win.

“Scrum-wise as well, we got pumped, and it’s really disappointing,” he said.

“We’ve got to look at ourselves.

“Fair play to them, they’ve done well, but you’ve got to hold your hands up.

“I thought we’ve done enough to win it but it’s our mistakes, again, our errors, that are costing us.”

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