Justin Tipuric: Captain says Scarlets defeat was worst of Ospreys career

Opposing captains Justin Tipuric and Ken Owens shake hands after Scarlets 44-0 win over Ospreys
Opposing captains Justin Tipuric and Ken Owens shake hands after Scarlets' 44-0 win over Ospreys

Ospreys captain Justin Tipuric says the 44-0 hammering by Scarlets was his worst experience in the region's jersey.

Tipuric led his side to a record defeat against their nearest rivals in the Boxing Day derby in Llanelli.

It was a 10th successive loss for the region and the first time they have not scored a point against Scarlets.

"It's tough, biggest loss and not scoring a point, it's a little bit embarrassing," said Tipuric.

Ospreys have suffered 12 defeats in 13 games so far this season and are bottom of Pro14 Conference A.

The region have no head coach with Allen Clarke no longer in charge of first team affairs and assistants Carl Hogg and Matt Sherratt in temporary charge.

Ospreys also have a lengthy injury list with 16 players sidelined, including Wales duo George North and Alun Wyn Jones who have not played for the region so far this season.

Tipuric though will not accept these issues as excuses.

"It was definitely the worst night in an Ospreys shirt by far," he said.

"There are injuries, confidence issues, and no head coach so as you can imagine it's a lot of things.

"But you have got to show character and wear this shirt with more pride than we did tonight. Losing to our local rivals adds to it and probably tops it off.

"It is tough when you think your family, friends and fans have come to watch that display, It's not a nice feeling.

"It's a tough place when you are down the bottom of the league. We have got to show a lot of character and keep working hard. Hopefully we can work our way out of it."

Tipuric admits he feels there is a different atmosphere in the Ospreys camp since he returned from the World Cup.

"It was a lot different coming back two weeks ago compared to last season," he said.

"Getting a head coach takes time, you probably want to get the right person in place. You don't want to rush to those decisions so I can understand that side of it.

"But we have still got good coaches and we know we need to perform better than we did tonight.

"Injuries do play a big part but you look at rugby these days and it's a massive squad game.

"You rely on your squad, it could be your academy players, it could be boys who may not be starting but they come in and fill that jersey.

"There's a number of factors but we have got to dig ourselves out of it."

Ospreys will hope to have Wales captain Jones and North available for the trip to face Dragons on 4 January but centre Scott Williams was taken to hospital after being forced off the field early against Scarlets because of a facial injury.

"It will make a difference if you have got two world-class players," said Tipuric.

"Getting a couple of other boys back off the injured list will also make a difference as well."

Tipuric is out of contract at the end of the season and Ospreys face a battle to keep one of their main assets.

"I will keep thinking through my decisions and will probably have to make one over the next few weeks," added Tipuric.

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