AFTER a bruising night in the RDS, we head home to lick our wounds. I’m surrounded by battered people, bodies and egos alike. We’ve had a tough couple of months and it’s not over yet.
Not being able to get anything out of our Heineken Cup group in terms of qualification, we were using our trip to the reigning champions as a chance for us to restore some pride and build some ever needed confidence, which we’ve lost over recent times.
It was pretty common knowledge what Leinster wanted and needed out of the match but we weren’t prepared to hand it to them on a plate. We grafted hard, but with the territorial stats at around 66 per cent to 33 per cent, the majority of our defending was done on or around our try line.
In a usual match we’d make 80-90 tackles as a team — on Saturday we made 178. That relentless pressure 5m from your line takes its toll.
If you’ll spare me a few minutes I’d like get something off my chest this week as captain of the Scarlets, a role I’m honoured to have. That sometimes means I’ll stand up for what I believe needs to be said on behalf of my team mates and our rugby home, something that’s been bugging me for a while, to be honest.
At the Scarlets we have some of the best supporters in world rugby. Thousands of good people who will follow the club to the ends of the earth and cheer us on regardless through thick and thin.
For that, to you all we are forever grateful, and we would do anything for you guys and thank you sincerely for all you do for your region.
There are, however, a small minority that too call themselves ‘supporters’ but do not seem to understand what that term means, and I’m not entirely sure if it aptly applies to them.
There are a faceless few — we never see them at our meetings or at appearances, who send anonymous Get Well Soon cards and letters to players and coaches alike, and post non-constructive comments online under some witty pseudonym, expressing their disgust at the players’ level of effort and commitment.
Let me assure you of one thing. There is NO lack of effort from this team, there is NO lack of commitment either.
No-one out there is more frustrated with the way things are going on the field than the players in this squad. Our current performances may dishearten you for a day or so, but we have to live with it day in day out. I’ve been at this club for nearly 10 years now and I can guarantee that no group of players I’ve had the privilege of being amongst works as hard as this current one.
The effort put in last weekend speaks for itself. And we know we have to keep our heads up and carry on to work our way out of this more challenging period, but we’re all proud people and are more than willing to do so.
I guess what I’m trying to say is, if you want to support us then fantastic, we need you and you’ll always have honesty from the boys when we know we have to do better.
But when we get back to the glory days of this club, let’s remember these times when we pulled together as supporters and players and it’ll be all the more sweeter for darker patches we’ve had to work through.