Ospreys: 'Blame me' for hammering by Munster, says boss Clarke

Allen Clarke and Shaun Edwards
Allen Clarke (L) has Wales defence coach Shaun Edwards (R) as one of his assistants this season
Guinness Pro14: Ospreys v Benetton
Venue: Liberty Stadium, Swansea Date: Fri, 21 Sept Kick-off: 19:35 BST
Coverage: Live score updates on BBC local radio and on the BBC Sport website

Ospreys head coach Allen Clarke says he takes responsibility for their 49-13 Pro14 defeat at Munster.

Clarke had made 12 changes for the game in Cork and watched them concede seven tries in a one-sided match.

He told BBC Sport Wales: "We didn't come here to throw a game and I didn't come here to concede 49 points and nor did I expect to, but that's the reality of what happened tonight.

"It's on me and it about what I believe is best for the team."

With only Sam Davies, Tom Williams and Tom Botha selected from the starting side that defeated Cheetahs 46-14 the previous weekend, Ospreys had no answer to Munster's physicality and pace in the decisive first half.

"We're not judging these players on tonight's performance," said Clarke.

"We said beforehand we wouldn't allow the scoreboard to hijack us.

"We need to grow our depth and the only way to grow your depth is through playing."

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Allen Clarke says he is to blame for the 49-13 Pro14 defeat at Munster

Captain Justin Tipuric, plus Wales colleagues Alun Wyn Jones, George North and Aled Davies were among those rested with Clarke defending his decision to give them a break.

Clarke said some of the rested players will be available when they host Benetton at Liberty Stadium on Friday, 21 September.

"It's important that we do manage our players who will be on international duty because you can't put them out week-on-week.

"If you do, you risk blowing out at the end of the season or risk reducing their career.

"Some of those boys will be available for selection for next week, but there are some game management protocols around selection.

"Everyone knows it's the World Cup next year and like in Ireland, in Wales we are looking after players quite rightly.

"We as Ospreys want to look after them and ensure players such as Alun Wyn Jones, Justin Tipuric and George North are playing for the Ospreys for years to come."