IN terms of progression in the LV= Cup, there is nothing riding on Saturday’s game with the Ospreys at Sixways (3pm), but there will be a lot of guys — me
included — needing a performance to put their hands up for a place in the Aviva Premiership team.
Seeing as we can’t progress in the tournament, there will be a much more personal edge to the game.
It’s nice to have the opportunity to tackle a team that you don’t come up against in the league and it is good to test yourself against a different style of play.
Ed Shervington used to play for Ospreys, so we will be picking his brain as soon as we know what kind of side they will select and Ed will be able to give us a few pointers.
That said, Ed is always talking about the Ospreys, so this week won’t be much different to usual in that respect!
He signed a new contract at Worcester last week and, for a hooker, he is still very young and has an awful lot to give to us.
He fits into the mold of a modern day hooker in that he scrummages very well, yet still gets around the park like a back-rower.
He is a really good signing for us and I’m sure he’ll make that number two shirt his own.
The first 30 minutes of our LV= Cup game at Saracens were fairly even and, given the way we had started the match, I felt we were the better team going into half-time.
We put ourselves in a position where we could — and probably should — have had a much better result than we did, which is disappointing.
They scored quick tries in the second-half and that really killed us off — up until then, we had played a lot of good stuff.
We had a massive effort and desire and played with some good intent in the first-half — our wingers got their hands on the ball a lot, but then they barely touched it after the break, which shows
how the game changed.
Sarries changed their tactics and used their kicking game a lot more. They were very physical up front and their driving line-out worked well.
They are a very good team and they came out for the second-half really fired up after probably being given a stern talking to.
We were then put in positions where we were giving too many penalties away. Still, that is no excuse, as it was our own mistakes that got them back into the game.
When we needlessly turned the ball over and gave penalties away, they punished us.
We won the toss, so opted to kick-off and wanted to go out there and start strongly in the opening minutes.
Ollie Tomaszczyk’s big tackle from the restart really set the tone for the first 20 minutes — it was a great hit and even I could hear the impact stood at full-back!
Chris Fortey was fantastic in the build-up to the game — both in training and in the dressing room before kick-off — and his chat was great. He has so much experience and his running line off Jonny
Arr set up Sam Betty’s early try to get us going.
Blair Cowan was impressive on his debut — he seems like a very good ball-carrier and is solid in defence, he’s just the type of player we need.