Just a few tries
This weekend we took on Timisoara Saracens at Franklins Gardens. If you remember from my previous blogs we travelled out to Romania before Christmas for our game against them. Unfortunately it was cancelled due to heavy snowfall and we ended up getting stuck there for a couple of days. The trip from hell. However this weekend it gave us the chance to finally play the boys from Romania and see if we could replicate last weeks performance against Clermont.
It was quite a cold evening at the saints, a slight breeze but perfectly dry. As rugby conditions go, it was pretty much perfect. We started the game quite slowly, we made a few errors here and few there, knock ons and dropped balls. We were scoring tries quite comfortably but we weren’t exiting as well as we would have liked. It was 28-3 after 25 minutes and we had the bonus point try locked up. This game for us was about scoring as many as possible. The reason being that if we didn’t score a shed load of points we could potentially be going back to Clermont again to face them in the quarter finals of the Challenge cup. Although we have already faced in them in our pool, it would be cool to go somewhere else and face a different team! At half time we had hit the 40 point mark we were finding our rhythm and it started to tell with the rate we were scoring tries. We spoke at half time how we could tighten up a little bit with our handing, we needed to be sharper in that department, and also how it would be easy to play as an individual as we were winning comfortably. The key was to keep playing to our structure and that would allow us to pile on the points. We came out in the second half and hit our straps, we really started playing some good rugby. The Gardens faithful were in fine form, and it sounded like they were enjoying the fast flowing rugby. Unfortunately the side from Romania were never in the game as the saints were truly professional and ultimately too good on the day. I think if weather was wet and windy that would have suited Timisoara saracens a lot more due to their heavy pack. The fast paced game didn’t help them and there was a lot of space all round the pitch. Overall the saints ran in 17 tries, converting 13 of them. It was a game that was bizarre to play in and I’m sure it would have been strange to watch as well. You never expect to put 100 points on a side in a professional game. They were brilliant hosts when we went over there and they were very gracious in defeat this weekend. It is nice to see rugby growing over there and it needs all the support it can get. There is definitely some talent, its just a matter of nurturing it and helping the sport grow in the country.
This weekend we take on the tigers at home on Saturday. It is in the PRC and if we win it means we should get a home semi final. It is effectively a quarter final for us. This tournament allows boys who are returning from injury a chance to play and lads who have lacked game time. Its a great opportunity and one that I’m very much looking forward to being involved in!
I hope to see as many of you at the Gardens as possible. As always thank you for your continued support!