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Jones looks for more from Ospreys

Wales star Alun-Wyn Jones says an improved performance is non-negotiable when he leads the Ospreys into Heineken Cup battle against Northampton on Sunday.

The Ospreys were left deflated by a 19-9 home defeat against Leinster last Saturday, and a repeat result this weekend would see their hopes of progressing from Pool One suffer an immense jolt.

"We were bitterly disappointed," said Jones, reflecting on the Leinster loss.

"We had not had a home game to start the Heineken Cup for four or five years, and we felt it was an opportunity missed, not just to win but to get a point and get off the mark.

"I was personally disappointed because I know the players are better than they showed in that game.

"I wouldn't say the Northampton game is do or die. An improvement is all we need, and if we get that then we have enough in the tank.

"Northampton have a big pack - they present a different challenge - but we will do better. We have to do better."

Northampton also suffered an opening weekend setback, going down 19-13 in Castres, and they will be without injured England prop Alex Corbisiero against the Ospreys, which means a call-up for Alex Waller, while wing Jamie Elliott, scrum-half Lee Dickson and back-row forwards Phil Dowson and Samu Manoa also start.

Exeter gained widespread acclaim for their 44-29 demolition of Cardiff Blues last Sunday - they scored six tries and led by 38 points at one stage - but the challenge now will be to back that up against RaboDirect PRO12 leaders Glasgow.

The Chiefs will head to Scotstoun Stadium high on confidence, and head coach Rob Baxter does not want his players to lose early momentum in Pool Two.

"The challenge for us now is to understand that the Cardiff performance, and the five points we got from that game, have made this weekend's game a very big game for us," he said.

"It has put us in with a shout of really pushing through in the Heineken Cup because once you have one win in that first round, another decent performance in the second will give you a decent collection of points moving into the next phase of the competition.

"What I am hoping for from us is that we don't go into our shells and that we don't go up there and be afraid of losing because things are going okay.

"Instead, let's maintain what we are doing now, which is going out there to win games of rugby. All the time I say to the guys let's enjoy it and play to win, because when we are like that we are a good side. That has to be our key driver this weekend.

"We know it will be a tough game and we know there will be some reaction from them to the Toulon game (Glasgow lost 51-28) because Glasgow have been going really well in the RaboDirect this season."

Harlequins, having lost at home to the Scarlets seven days ago, are effectively playing for Pool Four survival against Clermont Auvergne at Stade Marcel Michelin.

And they will arrive there without flanker Maurie Fa'asavalu, who requires surgery on a hamstring injury and is not expected back in action until the end of January, while other absentees include Ugo Monye, George Lowe, Nick Kennedy and Paul Doran-Jones.

Edinburgh also face a Sunday appointment, meeting Perpignan at Stade Aime Giral, where victory for the Scottish side would show they mean serious business in Pool Six after defeating Munster last weekend.

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