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Monday Morning Quarterback View

A second defeat on the bounce from the first two road fixtures of 2022. As with the Scarlets fixture, it was a relatively weak selection, but fans were given no indication as to whether the numbers available for selection were at similar levels to the previous week. A simple list of unavailability for selection alongside the team sheet would surely not be asking too much of the Ospreys in terms of communication with their supporters.

There is no doubt these selections and performances have set back the momentum that had been picked up from some very positive results in the URC up to Christmas. Selection can be strengthened if unavailable and injured players can return quickly, but these difficult few weeks have shown that we will be very exposed if a decent recruitment round for next season is not possible.

It was another case of the Ospreys failing to be competitive on the road. Glasgow are a very good side, as they showed in defeating Exeter in the Champions Cup, but maybe not as good as our defence made them look. The Scarlets was a potential win we threw away, but the ability gap between the respective match day squads at Scotstoun was too great to expect anything other than a home win. Such a poor performance was not expected though. Far too many first up tackles were missed, and the defensive system looks all at sea when the opposition play at pace. A defensive coach who can work on some of the really poor tackling techniques on show and help put in place a system that makes it actually look to the naked eye that we are defending 15 on 15, and not leaking line breaks all over the place, is now becoming of critical importance. We are struggling to score tries ourselves and cannot retain the ball in attack for any length of time. Our defensive play just cannot continue as it is, because our impotence in building sustained attacks, and the sheer predictability of sending one up runners into walls of waiting arms of defenders means we have to do a huge amount of defending over 80 minutes to stay in games.

The Glasgow attack offered variation and got over the gain line. Ours barely got out of the starting blocks. Some nice touches from Gareth Anscombe were evident but, outside of those isolated instances, we barely troubled them. Such is the bluntness of our attack this season that we have to prevent opponents from scoring much more than twenty points to have a chance of winning the game.

Winning on the road is never easy and our home form has kept us in a reasonable league position, but it is hard to see that home form continuing if we don't get a fair number of our stronger players back relatively quickly. It may also be advisable to bring in some defensive and other specialists, not in their first coaching rodeo, to take some of the strain that must be building up on the only experienced coach in the camp.

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