Ospreys head coach Toby Booth. Pic: Getty Images.

An Absent Coach, Three Defeats And 18 Tries Conceded (So Far) Adds Up To Another Grim Weekend For The Welsh Regions

By Paul Jones

Toby Booth has told the Ospreys it’s time to wise up after what’s shaping up to be a disappointing weekend for the four Welsh regions.

Only the Dragons – who host Munster on Sunday afternoon – can prvent a clean sweep of defeats for the Welsh sides in the United Rugby Championship.

With Cardiff having conceded eight tries in a 52-24 thrashing in Glasgow, the Scarlets also shipped over a half century of points at home to Ulster, and leaked seven tries, in going down 55-39.

At least the Ospreys only conceded three tries, but they still lost at home – 28-27 – to the Lions and are winless after two rounds of the competition.

That made for 18 tries conceded in just three games so far this weekend.


Should the Dragons – who are refusing to comment on 48 hours of claims their director of rugby Dean Ryan has been sacked – fail to win, then the regions will have collectively managed just one victory in their opening eight matches across the first two weekends.

Ospreys head coach Booth admitted his team had failed to make the most of their opportunities and had much to learn.

He said: “We need to get on and learn the lessons we’ve not managed in the first two weeks. We had a lot of control.

“I don’t think we started as well as last week, but we wrestled back control and have relinquished it again.

“That’s the big thing we’ve got to get on top of. Teams are too good in this league. When momentum shifts and shifts a lot and quickly, it’s hard to wrestle it back.

“Once you’ve got it, you’ve got to keep it and turn it into points on the scoreboard.”


Scarlets head coach Dwayne Peel also admits his team have a lot of tightening up to do after they conceded their second highest points total at home in a league game.

“It was a game of high intensity and a lot of tries and we were six points down with five minutes to go,” said Peel.

“But there are discipline areas we need to tidy up. We were second best in the fundamentals of the game which I am disappointed about and that’s what has ultimately won Ulster the game.”

Cardiff coach Dai Young admitted the scoreboard looked “ugly” after his team’s failure to build on their opening day victory over Munster.

Young’s team conceded three of their eight tries in the 10 minutes his son Thomas spent in the sin bin

“That’s a big thing that we need to get better at – controlling those periods when we’re down to 14. It will inevitably happen in this game,” said the coach.


“I thought a couple of calls went against us but as the game went on we also controlled the collisions poorly. They started again on top, winning collisions, and once that starts to happen then they’ll get speed of ball and it becomes very hard for us to control them defensively.

“We played good stuff on occasions and left points out there but we’re obviously disappointed to lose by that much.

“We’ve got to learn a lot from it, but ultimately the story of the day was the yellow cards and how we dealt with those periods because they will happen. It doesn’t matter how you play the game, there will be yellow cards.”

The Dragons have yet to make any comment to either confirm or deny reports that Ryan has been sacked just one match into their campaign.

He was heavily critical of his players’ efforts in their opening day 44-6 lost at Edinburgh and has not been seen since with head coach Dai Flanagan having taken training.

Last season, Ryan’s third season at the helm, saw the Dragons win just two matches.



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