Warriors Head Coach Jonathan Thomas spoke to the media today ahead of Sunday’s Gallagher Premiership match at London Irish (kick-off 1.00pm).
Here’s what Jonathan had to say:
On the performance against Bristol Bears
- I have been proud of the players over the last few weeks. Our training has gone to another level intensity, we are working them hard and training above game pace. It’s about transference into games now.
- The biggest thing for us was staying with Bristol, who like to play with speed and tempo for 80 minutes. We did that and we had a purple patch in the second half when we dominated.
- There was a 14-point swing just before half-time when we had an overlap and didn’t score and they went up the other end and scored. Instead of being 17-10 to us it was 17-10 to them at half-time.
- So I’m proud of the effort but disappointed because we didn’t win.
How significant has not having a normal been pre-season been in conditioning?
- The challenge for us as coaches with this group of players is that we are going through a transitional period for the club.
- A lot of young players are coming through, some players are moving on at the end of the season and some new players are coming in.
- But, at the same time, we have to focus on the now and making sure that these players are fit for purpose and conditioned to play in what is the best league in the world.
- It’s a tough balance sometimes because we are in the middle of a nine-game bloc, but I am pleased with the direction we are travelling.
- It’s disappointing that we are not getting the results and it’s tough for the players. I know from my own playing days that sometimes you go on these losing runs and you need to get the monkey of your back.
- The last few weeks – Wasps, Gloucester and Bristol – have all been ‘could have, should haves’. We just need a bit of confidence to get over the line but I’m sure we will get there.
On facing London Irish
- They are much-improved team and they have some quality players.
- Paddy Jackson is on fire at fly-half and they have some quick outside backs who are playing with confidence at the moment.
- It’s a very different challenge to Bristol but one we are looking forward to.
- Ted Hill pulled out of the Bristol match. We thought that Ted would be fit to play but he had a run on Saturday afternoon and it wasn’t quite right. A bulging disc in his back is affecting a hamstring but we are very confident that he will be fit to face Irish.
- Chris Ashton suffered a head injury against Bristol and he is going through the HIA protocols.
- Oli Morris also suffered a head injury and is going through the protocols.
- Marco Mama has a shoulder impingement which is why he has not featured recently.