Travelling back from Bedford last Saturday night (3rd December) there was a sense that we had 'done a job' in coming away with the win at Goldington Road.
Bedford are a good team and particularly in the second half they made us work very hard defensively to ensure that we kept those four points, which currently leaves us eights points clear at the top of National Division One.
This weekend (Saturday 10th December) we travel to Plymouth for what will be our sixth away match in the last seven weeks, and like Bedford last weekend the game will be another fierce encounter against an in-form side.
The Albion are currently on a six game winning run that includes home victories over both Bedford and the Cornish Pirates. Coached by ex-Bath and England hooker Graham Dawe, there is no doubt that they will, like Bedford, provide us with a fierce physical examination at The Brickfields Rec on Saturday afternoon.
In terms of team news, this will not be announced until tomorrow (Friday). However, with Will (Greenwood) still shaking off a slight hamstring strain the team will probably only show one change to last weekend, with George Harder likely to start.
On Monday evening (5th December), our A team beat Northern Suburbs by 56-0 at Imber Court. The second half saw a return to action for Mark Lambert, who had been on the injured list since February.
Mark broke his ankle in October 2004 and had just returned to fitness at the beginning of this year when he was diagnosed with a split artery to the brain after suffering a severe headache. Mark was given the all clear by specialists in September and it was tremendous to see the smile on his face after playing 40 minutes on Monday night.
Our Guinness A league game against Saracens due to be played on Monday (12th December) has been postponed at our request. We hope to be able to confirm a revised date for this fixture in the next few days.
The game against Plymouth is the final one of our current goal setting period. Goals are set by the players themselves to measure, amongst other things, our tackle count, turnovers and penalty count, along with winning the game and bonus points achieved. Last Saturday at Bedford the team attempted 180 tackles, completing over 91% of them; our second highest score of the season in this area behind the Rotherham game where 210 tackles were completed.
We will need to make a similar number of tackles on Saturday against Plymouth if we are to come away with the win to keep us undefeated this side of Christmas.
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.