Press Notes – Alex Sanderson

How have the squad reacted to the loss at Northampton Saints in Round 13?

With an archetypal grief cycle I would say. Anger, frustration, acceptance. We’ve been through all those emotions over the last 48 hours. There was a lot of frustration post game as we didn’t take advantage of countless opportunities, we spent four times the amount of time attacking inside the 22 than Northampton did and came away with very little. Fair play to Saints, they took their chances well and made us work for it in that second half. I feel better about it now as we are realising where we are making our errors more and more and we’re on the right path.

What do you expect form London Irish this weekend?

You just have to look at their past games to see what a threat they are. They have shown such resilience in their performances over the last few rounds, they obviously have a lot of belief in their ability to outwork and out last other teams and they have pushed every team they have played for the full eighty so far. We’re not going to break London Irish easily, we need to find other ways of pinning them down and we can start by being consistently dominant up front. There were a couple of instances last weekend where we weren’t as dominant as we would have liked to be, and they probably decided the game. Every set piece can be game defining these days, as can the breakdown stats. Irish have the most turnovers at the breakdown in the league so we need to be sharp with our ball carrying and our urgency to keep the ball and keep it quick.

How are you enjoying the role of Director of rugby?

I’m really enjoying it, nobody likes losing, but part of this adventure we are on is being able to enjoy what we are doing. What’s the point in doing this if we are not enjoying it. When I say enjoy, it’s not just the triumphs either, it’s about enjoying the struggle too, enjoying having your back against a wall. We have a top group of lads here that speak my language, and when you’re on a path together, finding your way through things, it binds you and makes everyone tighter and I think that’s the part I’m enjoying the most so far – Seeing the reaction I’m getting from the boys, it makes me as a coach and them better as players. I have no complaints though so far, just a few things I would have done differently, but hindsight is a wonderful thing!

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