Reflecting on the weekend’s result against Doncaster Knights, there were plenty of positives to take from a hard fought win against a side that have been very strong on their home patch all season.
We used the ball really well at Castle Park and gained some good territory, but perhaps could have converted a few more points. Sometimes we lost control of possession in the attacking zone and we need to look at how we can take those opportunities. The scrum was very good and we disrupted the Doncaster lineout, which is really pleasing. They’re a good side and a big challenge, so it was a beneficial experience for our players ahead of an important month.
We can’t read too much into the win, however. From our perspective, we just want to grow our performances every week. It was a chance for the coaches to look at new combinations and partnerships all over the field. Nick Carpenter, for example, started for the first time in a long time and he did really well and posed a consistent threat to the opposition. The back row performed well and, so close to play-off time, it’s about guys taking their opportunities in the starting line-up. This weekend against London Scottish is no different.
Everytime we put the jersey on, there’s a responsibility to perform at our best. The guys understand that and we know our roles in the side. We’re proud of our form away from home and it’s an area we want to keep building on. There are changes this week and chances for players to make their mark, so those lucky enough to take the field will be hungry to prove a point.
I think it shows the desire in the group at the moment that those who aren’t selected are doing the unseen work in training, helping with preparation for games, running as opposition during plays and being a really positive influence around the place. I’m proud to take the captain’s armband on Saturday but it doesn’t change my preparation. I’ve always tried to play a leadership role and we look at leadership from players across the field so that everyone steps up and meets the challenge head on.
From the players to the coaches and conditioners, we know we have a job to do at the Richmond Athletic Ground and everybody is looking forward to getting out there and giving a good account of ourselves in front of our proud travelling support.