We are now into week nine of pre-season in preparation for the 2014/15 Championship season.
Up to now, apart from picking up a couple of unwanted minor injuries, things have gone very much to plan.
The boys have worked extremely hard up until this point. We have covered an awful lot of rugby, in addition to the fitness and conditioning aspects of pre-season, to ensure we are up to the challenges of the upcoming campaign.
We had our first run out on Saturday against Neath which ended in a hard fought 15-15 draw. It was a game that provided us with plenty to think about - a mixed bag of positives and things to work on.
We were in total control of the game up to half time in dry summer-like conditions. In the second half we came out to a monsoon of biblical proportions. The game became disjointed and we lost the penalty count by ten to four meaning Neath were able to chip away at our lead and draw the game.
This Saturday we entertain Swansea, a club I know very well from playing in my younger days and also coaching in 2000 when we won the Welsh Championship and made it to the quarter finals of the Heineken Cup.
Many stalwarts of the club are still there and I look forward to renewing acquaintances when they land here at Castle Park. We then have a week off before a mouthwatering clash against Leicester Tigers’ A-team at Welford Road.
We’ve brought in a number of new signings this summer and a couple of guys that have played here before in Colin Quigley and Latu Makaafi who we are delighted to have back at Castle Park.
We still have several new signings still in the pipeline. It was good to see Andy Bulumakau perform so well in the Premiership 7s on Friday evening. He makes an exciting addition to our back line.