One False Move and We'll Be Punished by Ospreys Once Again

The Evening Standard (London, England), December 16, 2011 | Go to article overview

One False Move and We'll Be Punished by Ospreys Once Again


Byline: Alex Goode Saracens full-back

[bar] HE stakes could hardly be higher against Ospreys tonight. Win and we will be in pole position to top Heineken Cup Pool Five and secure a home quarter-final tie but lose and we'll find ourselves in a dog fight to qualify from one of the strongest pools.

Friday nights in Swansea are always lively and we will be expecting plenty of action there tonight.

There's no doubt the premier competition in European rugby presents a starkly different challenge to the domestic Premiership.

In simple terms, there is virtually no room for error -- lose a home match and your hopes are seriously threatened, miss a tackle or waste a chance and the top teams will end up punishing you.

When you play against the leading Irish, Welsh and French teams, you need to minimise your errors and you need to take the opportunities that come your way.

At Saracens, we're slowly learning how to operate at this level. Last season, we won one of six pool matches despite playing really well for periods at Clermont and at home against Leinster and Racing Metro. But all these efforts didn't add up to much because, in the critical moments, we came up short.

It will be tough in Swansea. Ospreys have not lost a Heineken Cup match at home since 2005 and they have an outstanding squad, full of Wales internationals, world-class backs and powerful, hard forwards. …

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