I can heartily recommend the Eurostar as a method for travelling to away games in the Heineken Cup.
We did it last weekend for our game against Racing Metro in Brussels and to be able to get up and wander around whenever you fancy, instead of being restricted to a seat on the plane, is a big plus for professional rugby players. Especially those guys who are a lot bigger than me.
Unfortunately, unless they reduce the sides in the competition to just ones from Paris, Brussels and Bruges, I don’t think there will be many opportunities in the near future to do the same again.
Not only was the trip to, and from, Belgium good for us but the result was excellent too.
When I was looking down Racing’s team sheet, the backs alone were like a Who’s Who of the game with French internationals, Olly Barkley and Juan-Martin Hernandez all starting.
But we hit our straps and played some good stuff. In the end, we were a bit disappointed not to have picked up a four-try bonus point and I suppose that shows where we are at the moment if we are thinking like that.
After putting 40-odd points on Edinburgh away from home in the opening round, we have got off to the good start we needed in the competition. Edinburgh had been making some big noises in the press before that game too so it was satisfying to come away with such a resounding victory.
We play Munster in the key December double-header next up in Europe and they will obviously be huge games in terms of our chances of reaching the last eight of the competition.
While we will put that game on the back-burner until it arrives, I hope we can take that belief and confidence from the last fortnight into this week’s Aviva Premiership match with Northampton.
We felt as a club, that we have not been a million miles away from where we want to be this season but the first two rounds of the Heineken Cup have showed us just what we can do when we get lots of things right.
Our games with the Saints in the past have been quite tasty and a few things that have happened over time have added some spice to that fixture.
As players, we all get on pretty well, but there is certainly something a bit extra in there for the fans when we play.
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