Against Gloucester two weeks ago our set-piece was very good. We scrummaged well against, allegedly, the best scrum in the Zurich Premiership and our lineout, both in attack and defence, functioned well. Last week at Welford Road it was the very same areas of our game that put us under so much pressure and led us to losing against the Champions on their own ground. Leicester played well enough but they did not beat us, we lost the game.
That said, despite what the local radio station may have reported in Leicester last weekend over the internet, we were very much in the game until 20 minutes into the second half, but failed to take the chances we created for ourselves. Even against a below par Leicester team, you have to take your chances if you want to come away with the points.
Understandably, many of you have expressed disappointment at our start to the season; two defeats and only a single point to show for our efforts is not a great start, but is should not be forgotten, although it is not an excuse, that we have probably played the two best teams in the Premiership. That said we are only too well aware that we need to not only put in some performances over the coming weeks but also, particularly at the Stoop, start coming away with some wins and the four points that go with them.
As ever, once you get into the season the games come thick and fast. This Saturday sees us entertain Leeds Tykes at the Stoop, kick-off 3.00pm.
Phil Davies has strengthened his squad well over the summer. Bringing in Gordon Ross at fly half, George Harder on the wing and the newly signed Argentinean centre Hernan Senillosa. They have performed well in their two games against Leicester and London Irish. There pack remains strong, with loose head prop Mike Shelly and second row Tom Palmer playing very well. The Leeds scrummage is an important part of their game and we will need to improve our performance in this area on Saturday afternoon.
On the injury front, Chris Bell damaged his hamstring last weekend and will be out for two to three weeks. Matthew Powell also came off with a back problem but should be back in action very soon. On the positive front both Paul Burke and Tani Fuga will be back in action this weekend, and Keith Wood will also return to the front row.
On Monday evening, our 2nd XV lost to Northampton 24 -16 at Franklins Gardens. However, there were some very strong performances from the youngsters in our squad People like Jim Evans, Simon Miall, Andy Reay, Ugo Monye and Darryl Griffin all played well, as did our props Bruce Starr and Pablo Cardinali. The next 2nd XV game is against The Army on Wednesday 25th September at Aldershot, kick-off 7.30pm.
We now have two home games in a row; Leeds Tykes this Saturday and our local rivals London Irish the following week. The reception you gave the team against Gloucester was tremendous and I am sure you will cheer even louder this Saturday as we look to register our first victory of the season.
Harlequins fan Ed Atkin won the Etihad Airways 'Up and Under' competition at the Northampton Saints game. As a result, he and a friend have won a holiday to Abu Dhabi courtesy of Etihad Airways and the Abu Dhabi Tourism & Culture Authority.