Last Saturday (24th September) we picked up another four points with an away win at Nottingham. In a first half that was littered with 18 penalties, it was difficult for either team to get any momentum into proceedings, but in the circumstances we played a very controlled game to lead 18-3 at the break.
In the opening 20 minutes of the second half, we stepped off the pace and allowed Nottingham to dominate that period of the match, before we came back to the party and scored two tries in the final quarter. Credit should go to the home side; they are a very well organised team who defended well, but anyone who spoke to the players or coaching staff afterwards will know that we still have considerable room for improvement after that performance.
This Saturday (1st October) we play our second home game of the season against Doncaster, kick-off 3.00pm at the Twickenham Stoop. Last Saturday, they won their first game in National Division one at home against Coventry.
Team selection this week shows a number of changes, with six players being unavailable due to injury. Both Ceri Jones and James Hayter are well on the way to recovering from their respective injuries and could be back in action very soon.
Also missing this weekend with minor knocks are Nick Easter, Andrew Mehrtens, Ugo Monye and Tom Williams, all of whom are expected to be fit and available for the Coventry game next weekend (8th October).
On Monday night (26th September) our A team put in a good performance against a very young London Irish side, winning by 45-7. With Gloucester losing at Saracens, we are now six points clear at the top of the Southern Division in the Guinness A League. This coming Monday (3rd October) we face Bath in game five of the A league campaign, kick-off 7.30pm at the Twickenham Stoop.
At the training ground and with the office staff now all returned to their salubrious surroundings at the Stoop, we are in the process of organising the offices, meeting rooms and training facilities in order that we can cope with both our own requirements and those of Harlequins Rugby League.
The National Division One league table is beginning to get some shape to it with ourselves, Cornish Pirates, Bedford and Nottingham in the top four, along with Exeter and Plymouth, who will also be competing in the top half of the table.
We know that we have to keep winning and that we have to improve upon our level of performances if we are to achieve our goal for the season.
I look forward to seeing you all at the Twickenham Stoop 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.