A slow start
It has been a while since I have done one of these post game blogs and unfortunately I return on a slightly negative one. It has been a long summer; full of fitness, weights, hill sprints and strong man events. For some people in the squad they hate this time of the year, but I personally really enjoy it. Pre season really gives you a chance to work on all your weaknesses, physically and mentally. It gets you away of the week in week out stresses of playing games, and allows you to focus on yourself a little bit. For me this time of year gives me the opportunity to try and put on some weight, to try and get stronger and more powerful. This will hopefully transfer onto the pitch being able to dominate more collisions and hopefully be more of a running threat with the ball.
Before we knew it pre season came and went and we are into our first block of games. This year due to the World Cup, the RFU decided it would be best to put the Premiership Rugby Cup (the competition we won) at the beginning of the season. This prevents having a third of your Gallagher premiership games during the World Cup with none of your internationals playing. I personally think it is the best thing for all the clubs. It allows boys game time and a chance to stake their claim for the Premiership which starts in a couple of weeks.
This weekend we welcomed Wasps to Franklins Gardens. Last year when we played wasps at home, it was a game where we seamed to click and get lots right. We ended up being comfortable winners and it was a good day at the gardens. This time round it wasn’t quite like that. 2 games in and there were still plenty signs of rust in our performance last weekend. Even though we scored 5 tries and a penalty try, it wasn’t the showing we wanted. Our defence let in a few soft tries and every time we scored, we let them back in the game by making silly handling errors and mistakes in our 3rd. One of the main things we speak about, is that once we have scored, it is crucial to have a clinical and clear exit to try and put the pressure back on the opposition. Unfortunately 4 or 5 times we made the mistake of giving them the ball back cheaply and it didn’t help us at all. The score changed hand numerous times, Wasps leading and then Saints taking the lead, until about 10 minutes to go when the away team pinched a try to go 4 points ahead. Saints were camped on Wasps line for 2 or 3 minutes but the away team held out and managed to hold on for the win. A bitterly disappointing result for the saints as you heard the moans and groans of the Northampton faithful.
The good thing is that we get the chance to go again this weekend as we welcome a Saracens side that also lost last weekend against Sale Sharks. Sarries bring that winning mentality, and are used to tough physical contests. They have a big pack and some very dangerous backs so it is definitely shaping up to be a pretty exciting game.
I hope you all had a brilliant summer and thank you for all your support! Hopefully see you at the gardens this weekend for some more fast and furious rugby.