It’s been tough week down here in Connacht. After a good pre season where we played Montpellier and scenario games against Sale and Clontarf, we were pretty confident heading into the new season. Unfortunately, we had a poor team performance against a quality Glasgow side which was reflected in the score line.
Glasgow as a side full of internationals, we knew it was going to be a tough test on the back of us beating them twice at the end of last season, which ultimately proved in their ruthless performance. Gearing up to the Ospreys is a similar to that of Glasgow. Having beaten them twice last year they would have targeted this game since the start of the pre season.
I suppose that is part and parcel of what comes with winning the league, there is a target always on your back.Over the preseason my main targets were strength, aerobic fitness and durability. Coming into the new season I’ve hit new personal bests in strength, feeling fit and thankfully have been injury free.
Obviously, there has been a lot spoken about winning the league last year, and about backing it up this year. The title is not ours to defend but there to be won. We set our goals pretty much the same as last year, with our first goal to be in the top 6, and if we hit that before the season is finished we reassess after that. It worked last year, so we are sticking to that formula.
Thanks for reading, talk to you next month.
Wow, in my last post I spoke about us hopefully becoming champions. To be writing this now almost 3 weeks later it is a memory that will stay with everyone involved the rest of our lives. The Connacht fans and supporters really made it a special few days for us, the bus ride into Murrayfield was incredible, some of the lads had a few tears once we arrived into the changing room. The celebrations in Galway where 15,000 people turned out was the most phenomenal experience certainly I have ever experienced.
The last few weeks has been quite chilled, Danie Poolman got married last week so i was over in Portugal celebrating. Many of the Connacht lads were over so it was nice to continue the celebrations and get away from rugby for a few days.
We get back to pre season training at the end of the month, instead of other years where I would leave it till the last minute to get back into training/shape, I’ve tried to some degree to keep on top of things. It’s been great to have the facilities in the Regional Sports Centre, we are so lucky to have such a high performance and quality gym on our doorsteps. When we get back training on the 30 of June, I will be benchmarked on these given parameters.
Skin Folds less than 50mm
My main focuses for pre season will be strength and to maybe try put on a few kgs.
Will let you know how the testing goes once I get back.
This is my first time ever writing a blog so bear with me for the first couple. First may I say how privileged I am to be a mentor for Athlone RSC and I look forward to what the future has to offer!
It’s been great to finally get back playing after a lengthy injury. After a tough 10 weeks in the Return to Play group (basically all the injured player do weights together in a more supervised environment where there is more of a hands on approach from physios and s+c), I was back playing.
We were all given Monday to Thursday off after the Glasgow win to refresh the bodies and minds. Personally as I was off for such a long period of time, I decided it was a good chance to get some extra training done so I’ve been between Galway and Athlone RSC for training.
Gym wise, I’ve been just trying to get as much volume done to catch up on all the training I’ve missed while I was out. Most of my exercises have been 8-12 reps supersetted with a 2 and a half minute turn around. A lot of the weight training we are doing with Connacht at the moment is power focused, lower reps with heavy weight, so it’s nice to change it up regularly. Then pitch wise I’ve been working on tactical kicking and goal kicking this week, then trying to get mental reps in the evening. It’s something that is so simple but really does pay huge dividends when done regularly.
It’s a strange feeling playing rugby this time of the year, usually by now we would have been finished up a week or so but we have every intention to be playing up until the last weekend in May in Edinburgh. Glasgow are such a strong team with game winning players all over the pitch, so to go out and beat them again will go along way to proving our Champions credentials, something we have done in abundance all year.
Hopefully by my next blog post we will have created history.