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Ospreys' Ryan Jones: Heart and courage is what we need

By South Wales Evening Post  |  Posted: December 14, 2012

Ryan Jones

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THE Ospreys will look to defend their unbeaten record against French clubs at the Liberty tomorrow (1.35pm), with Ryan Jones revealing the formula to repel four-times European champions Toulouse.

"We need to produce a performance of heart and courage similar to last week," said the 70-cap former Wales skipper.

"But we need to add more technical know-how.

"Hopefully, we'll do that and it will help us come away with a better result."

An injury-hit line-up lost 30-14 at Stade Ernest Wallon six days ago, putting up a fight before eventually succumbing to Toulouse's greater power.

But the Ospreys have never lost a competitive game to a French side at the Liberty Stadium and have only once been beaten at home by a Top 14 outfit in their history. That was when Toulouse prevailed 29-11 at The Gnoll in the region's inaugural season of 2003-04.

Steve Tandy's team earned high marks for their spirit in South West France last weekend, refusing to be intimidated by their surroundings despite having a number of Heineken Cup debut-makers in their ranks.

"We had six guys who hadn't played Heineken Cup rugby before that game, so it was no mean feat to perform like that," said Jones.

"We've been out to France before with teams that didn't stand up like we did last weekend. The boys should be proud of their efforts. But we didn't get a win and that means we're straining for more this weekend. There were a lot of aching bodies in training on Tuesday, but we trained superbly.

"The hope is we can go one better. We have one of the European powerhouses coming down to our stadium and we are going to give it a good go."

Toulouse have lost three of their last six away games in the Heineken Cup, conceding an average of 21 points a match, but Jones doesn't buy the idea they don't travel well.

"I wouldn't say that," he added. "It's an easy thing to say from the touchline, but when that game kicks off and you're in the first scrum or the first maul, you know they have a team that's littered with world-class individuals.

"We are not underestimating them. They are coming here for a win as well, for their European cup qualification hopes. The challenge is huge, maybe even bigger than last week."


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