Hook: Ospreys must improve on awful dispaly
May 7, 2011
James Hook lands a penalty against Aironi on Friday evening © Getty Images
James Hook insists that the Ospreys must raise their game dramatically if they are to overcome Munster in their Magners League semi-final.
The Welsh international, who will leave for Perpignan at the end of the season, held his nerve to kick a late penalty and snatch a 12-10 victory over Aironi on Friday night, securing the final play-off place following Cardiff's defeat to the Scarlets.
Last season's Magners champions will now face table-topping Munster at Thomond Park next Saturday and Hook knows they must significantly improve their performance against the Irish province.
"We all know that it was a poor performance," he said. "All credit to Aironi, but we've got to take a look at ourselves. We were terrible really, as individuals and as a team. But, there are 22 games in a season and we are in the play-offs so we obviously deserve to be there, if not on this performance.
"I knew that I had to kick it to give us some sort of chance of getting through. I didn't want my last action in an Ospreys shirt for a while to be a miss, and us to go out. There were only a couple of minutes left on the clock, I'm just chuffed it went over, for the team and for myself.
"We'll go to Munster as underdogs and one positive is we can't play much worse that we did here. We know Munster, it's the fifth time we've played them this season, and it's the same with them, they'll know us pretty well.
"We've had some good battles with them in the past, and what we've got to do now is forget about this game and concentrate on Munster. It's a semi-final, there'll be a big crowd there and hopefully we can pick ourselves up."
The 25-year-old is determined to finish his spell with the Welsh region with more silverware after five successful years with the Ospreys.
"The Ospreys are my home region and I really want to win the league before moving on," he said. "We've got to go to Munster with a lot of belief and show them what we are as a team. We went to Leinster and won it last year as underdogs so we've got to believe in ourselves. We're a tight knit bunch of boys, and hopefully we can get things together.
"There's not much more we can do as far as learning moves and stuff, if we don't know them by now we never will. It's about picking ourselves up and giving a good account of ourselves next week, which I'm sure the boys will."
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Huw Richards assesses where Wales are after a mixed Six Nations, with front row seats still very much available for the World Cup
John Mitchell lapped up the action on 'Sensational Saturday' - but warns not to expect a repeat come Rugby World Cup time later this year
Craig Dowd warns England, Ireland and Wales they should play to their strengths rather than those of the All Blacks and the Wallabies
Tom Hamilton runs the rule over just where the six countries stand ahead of the global gathering in September