Press Conference Notes 26.03.19

Head Coach Rory Duncan spoke to the media today ahead of Saturday’s European Challenge Cup quarter-final against Harlequins at Sixways (kick-off 8.15pm).

Here’s what Rory had to say:

On beating Bristol

  • It was a very important win for the club. It got relatively tight towards the back end but it was good to come away four extremely valuable points.
  • When Bristol scored their last try and got close to scoring another we were under a bit of pressure but we held them out defensively. We won a scrum on our own line and managed to hold the ball for the last 15 to 20 seconds.

Duncan Weir’s kicking

  • I was chuffed when he walked up a grabbed the tee to kick that penalty from halfway.
  • It shows the value of Duncan as a player. He has done it for us a number of times this season and with him to step up in a big game like that, I was very pleased with him.

On the quarter-final

  • The guys are very excited about it. There’s been a real buzz around the club this week as we step into Europe.
  • We didn’t set out thinking that down the line that we would be in a play-off at home.
  • As a group the players had belief that they were going to win. We have played quite a few of the younger guys in this competition and a lot of them have put up their hand for opportunities.

Likely selection for Harlequins

  • A lot of games in Europe have come after a couple of Premiership games so we have broken up our season into different blocks.
  • This time the players had a rest before Bristol. We have made changes and rotated the squad but I don’t think there will be too many changes this week.

On Harlequins

  • It’s a great opportunity for a lot of the players to play in a quarter-final and fight for that semi-final position.
  • I don’t know what Harlequins strategy is but I imagine they will have the same mindset as us and go strong which will make for a great game.
  • They are a quality outfit, they have got good depth as well. Even if they do make one or two changes we anticipate it will be a good contest.

Injuries

  • Jono Lance is going through the return-to-play protocol and we will make a call on him later in the week.
  • Francois Venter has gone through the protocols and passed his return-to-contact protocols so he is fit and he will be in consideration for selection.
  • Cornell du Preez is now available for selection. It’s exciting to have him back. Since he’s been back in full training the last couple of weeks he’s put in some big hits. I think he’s been testing himself to see if he’s ready to go and he certainly looks ready to go.