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Humphreys takes positives from defeat

Ospreys forwards coach Jonathan Humphreys was left disappointed by Ospreys' shock defeat to Benetton Treviso but refused to criticise his side's performance or commitment.

The Welsh region had no chance of qualifying for the knockout stages of the Heineken Cup but nevertheless looked set to finish their campaign with a victory after establishing a 14-3 lead with just over five minutes to go. However, Treviso stormed back in dramatic fashion to snatch a 17-14 win and end a run of eight successive Heineken Cup defeats.

Humphreys was left downbeat by the result but defended his side's commitment to the cause at the Stadio Comunale di Monigo. As he said: "It is disappointing to lose and let it slip like that but sometimes that's the way it goes. We ran out of petrol. We gave our all but just couldn't hang on."

He added: "I'm not going to criticise the young players, they have been great through the competition for us. We didn't get the result but they stepped up and delivered again."

Humphreys reserved special praise for Sam Lewis, Lloyd Peers and new Wales squad member James King.

He said: "I thought James was outstanding. He took a bang to the shoulder, which left him with a stinger, but he just didn't stop working. His lineout performance was excellent. Sam Lewis and Lloyd Peers also produced big displays."

The Swansea-based side went into the clash without in-form wing Eli Walker. The turbo-charged ace suffered a hamstring injury in Italy and was a late withdrawal but Humphreys allayed fears over his RBS 6 Nations involvement.

Humphreys said: "Eli tweaked his hamstring in the team run on Saturday. He was left out as a precaution. We could have pushed him through but decided against that."

The match may have been a dead rubber but the victory was Treviso's first in the competition since December 2011 and head coach Franco Smith was delighted with the triumph.

Smith said: "We knew the match wasn't important for qualification but we wanted to reward all our efforts in this competition and our supporters. It was a chance to give some players time in the competition and they stepped up. It's a very proud moment and a big occasion for everyone at the club. Now we can build from here in the league season."


From Belfast Telegraph