After a nervy opening ten minutes last weekend, we went on to put up a decent display against Coventry in horrible conditions, which resulted in us gaining our second five point win away from the Stoop this season. We were disappointed to concede two tries in the game, but overall it was a job well done. Yet again our travelling support was both numerous and very vocal.
As you are all aware, this weekend we do not have a match and therefore the player's have had three days off before returning to Roehampton today (Thursday) to begin the second phase of our season.
With games coming up against some of the leading contenders in National Division One, such as Bedford, Cornish Pirates, Exeter and Plymouth over the coming weeks, we are only too well aware of the significance of the next phase of our campaign.
On Monday evening (17th October), the Second XV travel to Gloucester for our next Guinness A league fixture. Although the team will not be confirmed until Monday, it is very likely that James Hayter will take some part in this match as he goes through the final stages of his rehabilitation following the groin operation he had back in the summer.
As an assessment of the season so far, clearly we are pleased to have won six out of six games. We have achieved four bonus points from those six fixtures, which again meets the target we have set.
However, as Dean (Richards) has stated on numerous occasions, we are still not performing as a team at the levels that the group has set as a target for themselves. This is not a real concern as we are continuing to improve as the season goes on, but it is something that we will continue to have to monitor to ensure that the development of the entire squad continues.
On the injury front, both Tom Williams and George Harder are expected to return to full training within the next ten days, while Ugo Monye, Mike Worsley and Tony Diprose are now all back training with the squad.
In addition to the vital National Division One games we have over the coming weeks, we also enter the fifth round of the Powergen National Trophy on 5th November, the draw for which should take place early next week.
Our next National Division One fixture is at home to Exeter on Saturday 22nd October. Over recent seasons Exeter have been a constant force in this division and we are expecting a very difficult game when we face them at the Stoop next weekend.
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.