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    Gavin Duffy’s Column

    http://www.mayonews.ie/index.php?opt...ntent&task =view&id=624&Itemid=39

    Two wins on trot for 'Quins'

    GAVIN DUFFY

    HAVING lost our first five games since our arrival back into the Guinness Premiership, the month of November is a massive month for us here at Harlequins. Unlike the Celtic League, the Premiership continues with a full programme of games during the Autumn international period, testing the strength in depth of the clubs who lose players to their respective countries. Fortunately or unfortunately, depending on your point of view, we haven¡¯t lost any players to representative duty, although we still remain affected by a number of injuries. Though when you consider that a player spends on average 19 per cent of the season out due to injury, we are no different from most clubs in that regard.

    Much has been made of the fact that when Harlequins were relegated two seasons ago, the six victories we recorded all came during international weekends. Yet it¡¯s not something the players have dwelt on or are too concerned about. We obviously believe we can beat any other team on any day regardless of the state of affairs. But if fortune dictates that circumstances are in our favour, we¡¯ll hopefully take advantage and obviously won¡¯t complain! What comes around goes around.

    This season, however, Northampton, Newcastle, Worcester and Sale are the four sides we face during the Autumn internationals. Out of those four sides only champions Sale are severely affected by international call-ups. However, many of their English contingent may be available to play against us in two weeks time. This is because Andy Robinson, whose position as national head coach is being severely criticised by the media over here, is prohibited from selecting a player for more than three of England¡¯s four games (including the clash against the All Blacks).

    After two morale ¨C and confidence ¨C boosting victories over Connacht and Montpellier in Group Four of the European Challenge Cup, we took on Northampton at the Stoop eager to finally make our mark on the Premiership with a first win. Northampton, with Carlos Spencer pulling the strings at 10, convincingly overcame the Borders in their Heineken Cup game the previous weekend at Franklins Garden. They, too, were hoping victory would see them re-ignite their league ambitions after consecutive defeats saw them drop to 10th. A record crowd of just over 11,200 turned up at the Stoop and for two consecutive weekends, the majority went home happy after we secured a bonus point with a 34-19 victory. Northampton had two former Connacht players in the second row, big Damien Browne and Christian Short. It was good to catch up with them both after the game, even if I did have a crick in my neck after talking to them!

    Last week was a short week with only a six-day turnaround before our Friday night clash ¡®up north¡¯ against Newcastle. We trained Monday (weights followed by rugby after lunch), Tuesday (weights followed by rugby after lunch), day off Wednesday (physio and massage) and trained Thursday morning (rugby). Then we made the long, long, long, bus journey up to Tyneside, six and a half hours long, stopping for a stretch and a half-hour break for the bus driver. Next morning we had a stretch and walk around the ground after breakfast, followed by lunch. Then it was back to bed for a couple of hours before reluctantly doing three one-minute ice baths (which seemed to be the coldest ever!!) to awaken the senses before our pre-match meal at 4pm. Kick off was at 7.45pm and although it was a bitterly cold night at Kingston Park, over 10,000 braved the elements hoping to see the home side build on their victory over league leaders Bristol the previous weekend. <BR
    It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.

    Every plan I have is the best plan in the room. Everybody get quiet and listen to it, and everybody will win

    #2
    Ah the glamourous life of a pro in the GP....
    It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.

    Every plan I have is the best plan in the room. Everybody get quiet and listen to it, and everybody will win

    Comment


      #3
      Can't wait for his description of his howler last night. Christ he was poor.

      Comment


        #4


        Originally posted by Dermot G
        Can't wait for his description of his howler last night. Christ he was poor.

        Can't have been easy coming on cold to a 14 man team but he was poor in his very brief cameo.


        What happened him? He showed just as much promise as FitzGerald at the same age. I hope he gets his career properly back on track.
        It is useless to attempt to reason a man out of a thing he was never reasoned into.

        Every plan I have is the best plan in the room. Everybody get quiet and listen to it, and everybody will win

        Comment


          #5
          As a pro. player he has no excuse.



          He let a high ball (a handy enough one too) fly over his head.



          He also was badly out of position, and looked ponderpous when we conceeded the last and winning score.



          Apart from that he did very little.


          Comment

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