Visitors Viewpoint - Davies admits that Leeds were worried
18 September 2002 19:05pm
Leeds Tykes boss Phil Davies said that he was a worried man before his Leeds Tykes outfit took on NEC Harlequins at the Stoop last Saturday. Last season's bottom club continued to turn the form book upside down with their third straight win of the season, and their first on the road in the Premiership since their win at Saracens back in February.
"We were worried about this game as they have a lot of top class players at Quins and when you look back at last year, when we last came down in May, they put in a superb performance and they are always capable of that," said Davies.
"I'm sure that throughout the course of the season they will get things back on track. They are a good side, Mark (Evans) knows what he is doing, and they've got a quality outfit here."
"It was a bit nerve racking watching from the dugout but I was quite pleased going towards the middle and the end of the game that we were so close to Quins as we were. I realised that we were going to get at least something out of the game, whether it was one point or whatever."
"We just wanted to perform today as well as we did in the previous two matches which were at Headingley, and I was pleased with the maturity that everybody showed on the field and in the build-up to the game - it was excellent. So to finish off the way we did I was delighted. It was a great effort by everybody and I'm really pleased," continued the former Wales and Llanelli lock.
Despite starting the season by defeating the current champions Leicester Tigers and the Powergen Cup holders London Irish in successive weeks, albeit at home, Leeds were not expected to get a result on their travels so early. But with Braam van Staaten kicking goals from inside his own half and full back Dan Scarbrough carrying on his try scoring form from where he left off last season, the Tykes bandwagon continues to gather momentum.
"I think the more you go on and keep winning games the higher the expectations become," continued Davies.
"Saturday was very pleasing as we were away from home and we suffered a bit of a loss with Gordon Ross at half-time and we had to take him off. But we regrouped well and with a bit of reorganising we were okay in the second half."
"We didn't quite have the fluency that we do have with Gordon playing at ten, but then again we were very workmanlike and got opportunities and we took some and fluffed a few others. Overall we took more than we mucked up."
"Gordon's been a bit sick and just been drained. Some of the lads have had a bit of a bug so he was a bit light headed and a bit drained, so we took him off. We tried to give him about six bottles of lucozade but it didn't work."
It is still early days in the Premiership though, and Davies is refusing to get too carried away by their good start, but if the Tykes continue to laden their stall with victories then he may be forced to re-assess where he wants his side to end up.
"We haven't done any goal setting yet," confessed the Leeds boss. "In the summer, in pre-season when the sun is shining and everybody is feeling fit and fresh, and they are full of it, is the wrong time to make a goal-set because you get some unrealistic stuff coming out."
"We've let some of the enthusiasm go and just talked about being consistent. We will do some goal-setting in the next six to eight weeks I'm sure but at the moment I'm just pleased, I didn't think we would be where we are."
"I thought we would do well, I was positive in that respect because of the hard work that we've done in the summer had tested the players mentally as much as anything else and they showed a fair bit of metal to grind out a result against Quins."
"But we are under no illusions where we stand in this competition. We've played three of the better sides and we've done well against them but we'll be running up the hills in Roundhay Park again on Tuesday morning I can assure you of that and bring them down to earth with a bang."
"We've had a lot of experiences at Leeds over the years and some are not as pleasant as you like, so we are pretty level headed and we realise that we've got a long road in front of us and that it is going to get harder and not easier."
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.