With the seasons having reached their close in Aviva and RaboPro taking a step back to assess the best and worst of what occurred can help players plan how they will train to improve in the upcoming season.
Great Leadership – In their five final matches, the Harlequins managed to inch their way in to the playoff round. It was primarily due to Captain Chris Robshaw’s tactical direction in helping the team close the deal. He kept a cool head and led his squad to the finals effectively.
Teamwork – When Northampton met London at Franklin Gardens they managed a victory of 74 to 13. Not one player can be held up as the hero in the victory as there were numerous shining moments from many of them. They played like a well-oiled machine and deserve to regard it with team pride.
Going out with style – As Ashley Beck heads off for hip surgery that will lay him out for the better part of the next year, he scored 2 tries to help his take his team to victory against Connacht, ending their mashed up regular season with some grace.
Hitting the target – Kicking his way to victory, James McKinney brought Ulster home for the win against Munster through 4 penalties and an outside half conversion and even though he lacked game experience, his role in the game made all the difference in determining the victory.
Pride and character – In a final game that couldn’t get them into the Premiership against Gloucester, Worcester played with as much heart and magic that you would think they could. The fans roared for their boys as they gave them one last final win to carry them over into next season.
Head injuries – Coach Guy Noves sent player Florian Fitz back onto the pitch after he suffered a complete knockout against another player’s knew. Stupid choices that put someone else at risk – bad behaviour.
Kicking himself – In the Harquins/Bath match, George Ford attempted a shot from almost 50 metres in a wild frontal wind right in the last minutes of the game. Needless to say, it went nowhere fast and the game ended stealing away Bath’s chance to shoot for the championship.
Woeful Wasps – In their final chance to vie for the Premiership, the Wasps played in what was described as sloppy and disorganized. The upset left the team feeling completely dejected with their low level play and they were beyond disappointed to leave the season with that paltry example as the fans.
Their director stated that the team did not have their head in the game and while they still had a chance to fight for a spot in the ERC Cup, fans that traveled to attend the game were likely feeling fairly cheated by the experience and might not be willing to repeat that in the future. While they rolled out a number of players that don’t often get much game time, they can’t use much as an excuse for the debacle. Players feel that it will take a bit of time to recover from such an embarrassing display but in order to secure the ERC spot, they will indeed to keep their head up and fight the good fight.