September 6th 2009
Hello and welcome to the latest addition of the players’ blogs.
After reading Mark’s last week I feel I have a lot to live up to but I’ll try my best!
The last day of pre-season is finally over (at least for another year) and it culminated in the second pre-season match versus Harlequins.
Obviously it was a very different opposition to the Cardiff game and the fast, free flowing rugby and high pace of the game, plus the score line, certainly suggest that.
Although the score reads 47-17 to the Quins, I think everybody who witnessed the game feels that the score line does flatter the hosts somewhat. Their half backs really ran the show in the first half and three of the home team's tries came from the very quick thinking and reactions of England scrum-half Danny Care.
From a Pirate’s perspective, there are a lot of positives to take from the game.
The fitness of the players certainly stood the test and the physicality and overall confrontation around the park was second to none. Of course there will always be a few areas to address after a defeat, but again, another massive positive is that the areas are very small and mainly technical so some little changes and modifications will cut out any future misunderstandings.
Over the last two weeks building up to the Quins game, there has been a real focus on understanding roles and buying into the way the team wants to play.
This was certainly the case when the players went back to the classroom for a 25 minutes exam on the 64 page Play Book. This was obviously a big shock to a few of the players and with a pass mark of 75% you can understand why!
There were 44 questions overall, ranging from:-
Luckily for me I was one of the lucky ones who managed to scrape through with 76% but there were a few less fortunate who will be at home studying their Play Books religiously as we speak. Needless to say, the coaches managed to get the required result with props learning back-plays and wings talking about how many players are in each line-out. This overall understanding means the more each player/position understands, can only be a good thing for the team as a whole.
As pre-season is now officially over, all attention turns to Nottingham. Everybody knows what a tough opening league fixture this is going to be, but with preparations going well and the side coming together on and off the pitch, there is going to be a real squad feeling to this league campaign with every man as important as the next and every minute played with the same intensity.
Quote of the Week: “Think I’m going to go to the Barn to chill out” - Richard Bright on his options for a quiet unassuming night! (….the Barn being a very big, very loud nightclub in Penzance….)