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Clive Stuart-Smith column

Clive Stuart-Smith
It was probably our most accomplished performance considering we were playing against one of the top sides. With Leeds missing out on a bonus point against Bedford, we move a little closer to them

The week preceding the game had been a very positive one and there was a real atmosphere in training.

The whole squad and management are involved in "Movember" which is a charity event growing a moustache to raise awareness for men's health issues.

After merely three hours, a few of the lads can visibly sprout some form of whiskers. Unfortunately for Tom Johnson, after three years of trying to grow any form of facial hair, he has been resigned to use the dreaded marker pen as a substitute.

The game against Nottingham was just as we had imagined. They played a lot of good rugby in the first period and we had to be at our very best to not concede more points than we did.

When we built a number of phases and played with real tempo, we troubled them, resulting in some well worked team tries.

After half-time we really raised our intensity. With the strong Sandy Park wind to contend with, we played some powerful rugby and sealed the bonus point, which gave us a huge amount of confidence.

Going into the final minutes we knew we had to keep on fighting to deprive Nottingham getting anything from the game.

Our last meeting with Newbury ended on a rather sour note. In brief, we underestimated them, performed poorly and lost the game. This weekend we will not be making the same mistake

Clive Stuart-Smith

It was probably our most accomplished performance considering we were playing against one of the top sides. With Leeds missing out on a bonus point against Bedford, we move a little closer to them.

This weekend we will be making the trip up to Newbury, knowing full well that it is going to be a different but equally challenging encounter.

Our last meeting with Newbury ended on a rather sour note. In brief, we underestimated them, performed poorly and lost the game. This weekend we will not be making the same mistake.

An interesting addition to this week is a grip strength session for the whole squad. It is a very tough session but gratifying.

It involves exercises such as the farmer's walk, a tug of war against weighted plates, and hanging onto a towel for a given amount of time.

I got asked today day whether or not I had heard a walrus making a funny noise. In fact, it was Brett Sturgess with a serious amount of growth on his upper lip doing a rowing session!

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