Chance to put things right
UNFORTUNATELY we couldn't replicate last year's start to the season, but a new year brings new challenges.
If nothing else it will give us more resolve to go out there on Saturday evening and put right the final 15 minutes of our opening game at home against Leinster.
If we'd have stopped the game at 20 minutes we'd have been flying. We could've stopped it at 40 even — we had the upper hand and the scoreline to match. But obviously that's not enough — the turn around at 80 minutes made it hard to bear right there and then.
And you will have seen the disappointment and level of frustration on the boys' faces. That's because it matters to us all so much.
As you'll be aware I'm not the most prolific scorer of tries, but in my elation on Friday night I decided to try and slide majestically over the line. As it happened the pitch was as dry as a bone and the result was an awkward skid.
It was a great passage of play from us and Shings (the older one) did superbly to make that break. And as they say five points is five points!
We were dominant in most aspects of the first half and for all our territory and possession we should've been further ahead. Our inaccuracy at keeping hold of the ball killed us and we weren't able to get a solid strangle hold on the match. Being able to survive our first-half dominance would have filled Leinster with confidence that they could compete in the second half.
They were better after the break, but our defensive errors cost us dearly. Again we coughed up possession and weren't able to switch seamlessly from attack to defence.
As always, the good thing is we get chance to put it right straight away. Treviso are next up and after comprehensively beating us in the last game of the season, and running the Ospreys close last weekend, they'll be full of confidence for their trip to Llanelli.
We know how much work went into the preparation for Leinster from everyone – coaches, backroom staff and players, and that's why it was so disappointing. There are more than eight months of rugby ahead of us and plenty of games for us to control and show what we are about. With a home game to focus on this weekend and a home crowd behind us here on Saturday night — we'll put our efforts and our spirit into reversing the outcome last time we met Treviso in West Wales.
We'll be working harder than ever to assure that they leave empty handed.
Look forward to see you there and thank you for your support.