Thursday, February 4th, 2016
In the latest of a weekly series of blog posts from Bristol Rugby players, prop Jamal Ford-Robinson gives an insight in to the preparation the team takes ahead of games.
Last weekend’s victory over Jersey was great and really gives us something to build on over the coming weeks. It was a positive first half for us and to go in at the break with a commanding lead put us in a strong position. We didn’t take our foot off the gas in the second half with the conditions against us and – had it not been for a couple of cheap tries at the end – we could have had another nilling at Ashton Gate.
The boys are in a good place and we’re enjoying our rugby. Speaking from a forwards’ perspective, we’re doing a lot of detailed research on our opposition and their set piece. It worked against a strong Jersey pack and I felt we managed that area of the game well. We’re constantly adopting new techniques and working on our scrum and lineout.
I can’t pay enough compliments to Mark Irish. He stepped up before Steve Borthwick arrived and after he left and Iro has been immense. It’s made up for the fact that we haven’t got an out and out first team forwards coach right now because Irish on scrums and Robbo doing the lineout have been really good.
I’m loving playing at the moment and the last few weeks off the bench I feel that I have been making a decent impact. It’s always good to have a scrum early when you come on so you can adjust to the tempo and nature of the game, so it was good to get that versus Jersey and then for the boys to work hard to win a penalty against the head.
I’ve been around the fringes of the Championship side and playing lots of rugby in the B&I Cup so far this season, but I’m itching to get that first league start for Bristol and work my way into the starting line-up. It’s been awesome playing at Ashton Gate. The supporters have been so welcoming and, as a Bristol boy, it’s an overwhelming feeling to come off the bench and get a good reception.
The games come thick and fast now and this weekend we face a really tough game against Rotherham at Clifton Lane. They may not be going as well as they might have hoped in the Championship at the moment, but Rotherham are a dangerous side and always there or thereabouts for those top four places come the end of the campaign.
Rotherham are particularly hard to play against away from home, especially for the forwards so it’s another big test for us. Jersey brought a heavy, physical pack last weekend and this is likely to be similar. It’s not an easy place to go and win but the lads are full of confidence and playing well at the moment so we are going out there to enjoy it and put in a good performance for the travelling support.
Written by Jamal Ford-Robinson - Jamal agreed a switch to his home-town club Bristol Rugby in February 2015 from Cornish Pirates. Click here to find out more about Jamal on the Bristol Rugby website.
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Bristol Rugby face Ealing Trailfinders in the Greene King IPA Championship on this Friday, February 12th (7.45pm) at Ashton Gate - tickets are still available to purchase online here.