Last Sunday (6th November) saw us defeat Sedgley Park 61-13 in the fifth round of the Powergen National Trophy, and therefore logic tells us that this week we will travel to Sedgley Park again, this time to play them in National Division One at 2.30pm on Saturday (12th November) afternoon.
The final scoreline frankly does not do our opponents justice for the huge effort they put in last weekend; the half-time score was only 21-13. Perhaps what was disappointing was the small crowd of less than 1,000 that turned up to watch the game.
This weekend we understand that things will be a little different, with over 250 hospitality tickets sold and a crowd of around 2,500 expected, so the Park Lane ground should be a little busier on Saturday afternoon.
On Monday of this week, the draw for the sixth round of the Powergen National Trophy was made and it came as little surprise to us at the training ground that we were drawn away. To be fair, no-one had mentioned Bridgwater & Albion (apart from their own website!); the favourites had been trips to either Redruth or Blaydon!
On Tuesday evening, Dean (Richards) and I accompanied Mike Brown to the Holiday Inn Hotel in Bloomsbury to appeal against the yellow card he received in the game against Coventry on 8th October. The officials had deemed the offence as foul play and therefore it could have led to Mike receiving a one match ban later in the season. I am pleased to report that after a brief hearing, the yellow card was over turned and we can now all go out and buy 'Mike Brown is innocent' t-shirts, safe in the knowledge that we are right!
On the player front, I am pleased to report that in the last week Jordan Turner-Hall has signed a new contract with NEC Harlequins that will keep him at the club until at least June 2008. Jordan, who is still only 17 years-old and is part of the Junior National Academy, has made a big impact this season and we are delighted to have secured his services for the next three years.
The team to face Sedgley Park this weekend will be announced later today. It will show eight changes from the side that took the field last Sunday including the return of Andre Vos, Ugo Monye and Tani Fuga.
We know that Sedgley Park will be determined to put in a good performance in front of their own supporters, and we saw enough last week to know that if we do not play with the levels of intensity and physicality that we expect from ourselves then we will face a difficult afternoon at Park Lane.
Finally, as many of you will be aware, next weekend we face Cornish Pirates at the Twickenham Stoop on Sunday 20th November, kick-off 3.00pm. I understand from Tony Copsey that we are expecting a crowd in excess of 11,000, so if you have not got your tickets already I suggest you contact the ticket office very sharpish to ensure you do not miss out.
I look forward to seeing you all (again!) at Sedgley Park on Saturday.
During week commencing 22nd April Harlequins will launch an innovative, new Membership Scheme which will replace the existing Season Ticket Holder Programme. Further details of the scheme will be announced in due course.