Adam Bowman has only probably just about caught his breath after last weekend, as his side lost out narrowly to Havant in a game that plundered nearly seventy points.
‘We seemed to have got a bit of our self-belief back on Saturday. The squad were probably a little bit down in the dumps after our performances against Tunbridge Wells and certainly Maidstone, so although we lost, which still hurt, we started to play some of the rugby we know we are capable of. It started with our performance away at Dover and continued in Havant. The great thing is the boys are determined to improve and we will be making sure that we endeavour to continue on that upward trend towards the end of the season. We have secured 7 points from 3 games, which is a reasonable return for January, particularly after the way we started the month.’
Having played three matches away from home in January, Bowman and his squad are looking forward to getting back to home comforts and playing at the Paddock. ‘It will have been over a month since we played at home’ says Bowman. ‘We’ve had a couple of longer trips, so it will be nice to only have to drive five minutes up the road on Saturday. Most importantly, I’m really keen the 2nd XV fixture goes ahead. It’s been a frustrating year so far in that respect and we were disappointed earlier this week when Maidstone pulled out. Our numbers to training have still been strong, but it’s tough on the boys training all week and then not getting a game. But Paul Vizard and in particular Bill Belither this weekhave worked really hard to get fixtures and fill the gaps of the league, so we are delighted to have London Cornish visit the Paddock this weekend. They are a great Club with really strong rugby traditions so it should be a really good game for the 2nd XV to test themselves against strong opposition.’
Oaks 1st XV welcome Tottonians this weekend to the Paddock in a re-arranged fixture from 21st January and after suffering defeat in the fixture earlier in the season, they will no doubt be in for another tough, bruising encounter with Bowman saying ‘Tottonians are a very good team and were ruthless in taking their opportunities when we played them away from home, so the area of focus this week in training has been ensuring that we execute our game plan and also our core skills. As we showed last week, when we started to string phases together, we looked dangerous so we need to concentrate on doing the basics well and cutting errors out of our game. If we do that, we are in with a shout, but if we give Tottonians a sniff, they will punish us.’
With the RBS Six Nations also kicking off this weekend, shown live in the Clubhouse, the 1st XV match will kick off at 2pm, allowing supporters the chance to soak up some cracking London 1 South rugby before heading back into the Clubhouse to chew over the fat and watch England v. France. The 2nd XV are kicking off at 1pm against London Cornish, so make sure you clear the diary and get down to the Paddock!