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Ospreys looking to adapt

Guinness PRO12 Editor

23 Sep 2010

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Ospreys forwards coach Jonathan Humphreys has highlighted a change in the breakdown law when assessing where his side need to improve if they are to return to winning ways this weekend.

The International Rugby Board directive demands defensive, rather than attacking teams are refereed closely at the breakdown and Humphreys believes his side need to be quicker to adapt to the referee’s interpretations.

“We are not playing the breakdown well enough,” said Humphreys.

“We understand what we have done wrong and we are working with referees on a week by week basis to put things right so it doesn’t happen again.

“It’s a bone of contention, the new interpretations and how you play it and there are some difficulties with interpretations at the moment.

“Right now we are coming off on the wrong side of decisions and working hard to find out what we need to do to change.”

The former Welsh hooker has seen his Magners League Championship winning side suffer two defeats on Irish soil in the opening three weeks of the season, the latest coming when the Ospreys went down 22-10 to Munster at the weekend.

The Irishmen dominated in the tight, setting the platform for Ronan O’Gara to control the game and deny the Welsh side even a losing bonus point.

“Munster were excellent and came at us hard and won that area well,” added Humphreys.

“We have boys who go naturally strong at the ball and that’s not working at the moment, we have to understand the way the referee is playing it early on.”

The Ospreys line up against Aironi at the Liberty Stadium on Saturday evening hoping for a second victory over Italian opposition after beating Treviso 32-16 a fortnight ago.