Confidence in any walk of life is an important attribute; this is particularly so in professional sport. Last Saturday (25th September) after 38 minutes, we were 10-3 ahead of Bath, we were playing all the rugby and with one more score we could have had the game safely won. At that stage, our lineout was operating well and at the same time disrupting Bath's, and our scrum was more than holding its own.
Two errors contributed to Bath scoring just before half-time and as they say the second half is history. Our set piece did not function and although we created opportunities to score by building pressure in the Bath third of the field, no points were added to our half-time tally.
To lose a second home game so early in the season is extremely disappointing and we can all understand everyone's frustrations. As was showed at the beginning of the second half where we defended our goal line for some 12 minutes before conceding a drop goal, the commitment and desire of the players is there to be seen, but we do need to cut down on the number of errors we are making both at the set piece and in open play.
We now face a vitally important game away to Worcester Warriors this Saturday (2nd October). Do not be taken in by the heavy defeat they suffered away to Sale Sharks last Friday evening (24th September). They are a very well organised and coached team, and I am sure that Pat Sanderson will be having a huge input on the Worcester preparations this week. There will be a huge amount of pressure on both teams to come away with a win and it is up to us to ensure that we are the happier of the two teams on Saturday evening.
In contrast to the disappointment of last Saturday afternoon, on Monday evening our second XV played Bath as the Stoop and won comprehensively by 73-9 in the Zurich A League. There were a number of fine performances particularly from our two young props Mark Lambert and Tom Muggridge, as well as second row Opeta Palepoi. It was also good to see Dafydd James get through 70 minutes of rugby without any problems.
On the injury front, Mel Deane is slowly getting back into training following his knee injury three weeks ago. Mike Worsley will need another week at least with his back problem and Maurice Fitz Gerald is likely to be unavailable for this weekend having been knocked out shortly after coming off the bench against Bath last Saturday.
Australian scrum half Matt Henjak arrived in the UK on Tuesday and has spent the last couple of days getting to grips with all our calls, as well as everyone's name. Although not involved this weekend, Matt will travel to Worcester with the squad along with Mel Deane.
As I said earlier, Saturday's game is hugely important to both teams. Nothing will be decided come 3.30pm on Saturday afternoon when the final whistle blows, whether we win, lose or draw, but the confidence that a victory will bring would provide the impetuous we need to get our season off and running.
I understand that there are a good number of Quins supporters travelling to Worcester this weekend. Your support is always appreciated and hopefully will be rewarded come Saturday afternoon.
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.