Reflections on Friday night:
On reflection, it was a lesson for me against Bath. I want to give everyone an opportunity, and I stand by that but it’s important not to implement too much rotation too quickly otherwise you lose that consistency, and that’s what happened at the weekend.
The thing we talked about first thing Monday morning was that there seemed to be perceived pressure on the named team to perform because of how the lads had performed the previous two weeks. There’s always pressure to perform but that’s an old habit I want to break because I do back them, I back everyone and I believe all our players are good enough on their day to win any game.
An Injury Update:
We potentially have a couple of big South African’s back up for selection this week as Lood de Jager looks ready to return from injury. Lood has had a very controlled return to play schedule in terms of his contact conditioning and workload, so we’re hoping he won’t have much trouble going forward, another boost is the return of Cobus Wiese has recovered from a head knock so we could see both those guys in the mix at Harlequins.
Rohan Janse van Rensburg was due to return back from injury at Bristol but unfortunately hesuffered a further soft tissue injury in the build-up to the match. Rohan and Akker are very similar in that they are both tremendously powerful athletes, but you have to manage their workload effectively. Rohan’s injury isn’t too serious but it’s disappointing for him and has set him back a few weeks.
On Harlequins this weekend:
Harlequins are probably the in-form team in the Premiership. They are really fizzing at the moment and by their own admission have taken a good look at their game and focussed on their strengths and they have been playing with smiles on their faces ever since. They have a couple of big ball carriers and when they get quick ball, the likes of Danny Care and Marcus Smith look mercurial.
Therein lies the challenge for us this weekend, are we able to physically match them and can we close down the time and space those two players have around the park. It’s an interesting game, with the threats they have on the ball and our ability to shut down attacking threats in defence, if we are both at the top of our game in those respective areas it should make for an interesting match!