I was really pleased with the result against Blaydon. It wasn’t a great performance in the first-half by any stretch but the boys worked hard. After two month’s out you don’t know what you’re going to get but it was interesting to see and they got better and better as the game went on. At times we needed a bit more accuracy but overall it was very pleasing.
It was a good bonus-point win but just getting the four points was absolutely vital. But to do it with four tries and 30-odd points was really pleasing.
It was brilliant to see Nev Codlin blaze over for a hat-trick. By his own high standards, he’s not had one of his finest seasons because of injuries but to get him fit and on the park is a big boost and he showed what he can do.
For the one he demonstrated his power and strength to beat a few defenders and the other two came from blindside breaks from Mike Wilcox which he finished expertly.
I also have to mention Sam Baker score his first try since joining us. He took his try very well while Clive Stuart-Smith and Mark Davies controlled things very well.
We worked really hard in defence because they kept the ball for long periods. We fell off a couple of tackles for the one try but apart from that we were pretty good.
Blackheath, Richmond and Tyndale seem to have put things together which makes this weekend’s match a big more difficult.
Generally we always do well at Blackheath and we beat them 25-0 earlier this season. They have obviously improved a huge amount but we have confidence and momentum. We’re a third of the way through the season, with 10 games to go and we have a lot of home games to come - it’s all for us to do.
We will hopefully have a full squad available and Jack Adam’s will be back after being named man-of-the-match in England’s defeat to Ireland.
It was not the best crowd we have had and I would really encourage people to come to our next home game.
It’s always difficult when it is a rearranged match which overlaps with an international but there was still a good crowd in the club afterwards and that will be a big bonus financially.
As I’ve mentioned before, having fixtures postpones has an impact right through the club. There are costs right through the club, which do come from different budgets but such spells of bad weather do put pressure on the club.
The atmosphere and build-up at the Millennium Stadium looked incredible and Warren Gatland admitted it really spurred on his side.
Wales were in control from the first minute which was a bit of a surprise and with the way France play under Philippe Saint-Andre they were never going to get back into it after the Welsh built a lead.
They had no parity at the scrum which was a bit of a mess but if any team had dominance there it was Wales and their props went well which silenced some critics.
It all bodes very well for a great game at Twickenham on March 9, after England blew the tournament wide open against Ireland.
We already knew England had good players and played a nice brand of rugby but it was matches like that they had to start winning if they are to be contenders for the World Cup.
They stayed calm, stuck to their structures and game-plan, kept their nerve and held on for a hard-fought win against a very good Ireland side.
I’m a huge fan of Danny Care, he lights the field up and is a real character which is something you want to see from your half-backs.
But the stand out player for me was Joe Launchbury, who has that Bobby Moore-esque ability. He doesn’t do anything wrong and is always in the right place at the right time and does the right thing. He is a brilliant player that will only improve.
It sets it up very well for the big showdown and it’s brilliant that the Championship is still a four horse race.
There will be a lot of painful memories from the way Stuart Lancaster’s side were dismantled at the Millennium Stadium last year and I’m sure that will be a motivating factor.
But England are also a much better team now. There is a lot of new personnel and the other players have improved which can’t necessarily be said of Wales, I’m not sure if they are the force they were.
Lancaster’s men are in a much better position to get the win and it is vital they do that ahead of the World Cup and clinch the Championship.
If the All Blacks failed to win the Rugby Championship ahead of a World Cup it would be a national disaster.
I was thrilled to see Longlevens move yet another step closer to the RFU Junior Vase final at Twickenham with an outstanding win against Marlborough.
They have now gone eight games unbeaten in the competition and despite not playing for a while put in a really good performance. The match on other side of the draw has not been played yet so the boys are on tenterhooks to find out who they will be up against.
I mentioned earlier how important home matches are for clubs at this level and this cup run has been brilliant and very well timed for Longlevens.
Teams sometimes fall off the pace a little bit at this stage of the season but if they can take this form into the league they might even force their way into the promotion race which would be fantastic.
They have a young side and if they can stay together for years to come the club will be in a really strong position.
I’m trying to keep my son’s feet on the ground and have been telling them they have won nothing yet. He seems to think he already has experience at Twickenham but that’s just from standing next to me as a 10-year-old when Gloucester won the Powergen Cup there.
I was shocked to see Matson lose on the weekend. They are top of the table and I don’t think anyone saw that one coming. Coney Hill had a must win match against Sidmouth but only managed a draw which probably won’t be enough to save them.
Stroud faced Painswick in their local and came away with a 30-13 win which will be a real shot in the arm for them. I was also really pleased to read Gary Teague’s hopes for the All Blues after they were hit really hard by the flooding. They are confident they will be back next season and fingers crossed they can build and kick on.
Finally there has to be a word for Duncan Bell, who has come out of retirement after a two year absence to answer an injury SOS at Newport Gwent Dragons.
He’s kept up his fitness and played a few games from Lydney but it will be a big step up and hopefully there is a decent financial reward for him.
He’s already turned out against Glasgow Warriors and by all accounts he went well so it’s already a great achievement.
He’s a big man which makes it even more difficult but if he can hold up the scrum and help at the driving line-out I’m sure the Dragons will be very happy.
As a fellow prop people have already been joking and asking if I’m next but I’ve got 10-years on Duncan and the most I would stretch to is Longlevens thirds to help out my brother!