TOMORROW we play our first home game of 2012 against Plymouth Albion at the Richmond Athletic Ground (3pm kick off), and it will be great to get back to the Athletic Ground following a mixed festive period for the squad. I was very pleased with our victory away at Moseley on Boxing Day. Parts of our game were excellent and we controlled the game exceptionally, especially in the first half.
However, the satisfaction from that result was tempered slightly by our last-minute loss to Leeds on New Year’s Day. We were certainly handed tough Christmas fixtures, as having to travel to Moseley and then Leeds represented two difficult away games in less than a week. We were faced with heavy conditions during both matches, and I felt that the players responded well to the physical challenge this schedule set them.
The important thing is that we learn the lessons from Leeds and, although we narrowly missed out on the win, it is critical that we use the positives gained from that game to help us pick up victories during the remainder of the season and the end of season play-offs. The wonderful thing about Championship rugby is that the games come thick and fast, and we get the opportunity to put our disappointment behind us and concentrate on beating Plymouth today.
One of the players who has made a difference in both games is our new Canadian international signing Adam Kleeberger. Adam has been a fantastic addition to the squad: his physicality, passion and will to win are tremendous. He has already demonstrated his international class and is looking forward to showcasing his talent in front of the Athletic Ground crowd.
Adam was one of the World Cup’s most recognisable players, both for his Man of the Match display in the Canada’s opening victory over Tonga, but also for the size of his impressive beard! He took the opportunity to shave it off following the tournament as part of the Movember charity initiative, but it gained him fans from all over the world.
We now have four full internationals playing for the club, which not only represents the step forward we have taken this season, but also the quality of the Championship as a competition.
Simon Amor is Head Coach at London Scottish, an RFU Championship Rugby Club based in Richmond. For more information, head to www.londonscottish.com or facebook.com/LondonScottishFC