“THAT is sport, get over it.”
These are the words of Hartpury director Alan Martinovic after the side’s disappointing 44-29 loss to promotion rivals Canterbury last week.
This result closed the gap at the top of National Two; Hartpury are now just three points clear at the top of the table over Canterbury, but they do have a game in hand.
And with the challenging prospect of the mercurial London Irish Wild Geese away beckoning tomorrow (3pm), Martinovic’s men must focus on the job in hand if they are to secure promotion.
The Hartpury boss said: “There is not point crying over spilt milk.
“London Irish will be a very, very hard game away.
“They will have a very strong forward unit who will be abrasive and direct.
“ If we are going to get where we want to be, it certainly isn’t going to be easy.
“We need to forget what happened last week and focus on the job in hand. Games come around quickly and we have to prepare for that.
“We can’t be constantly thinking about the league in games, we have to put that aside.
“Pressure comes from expectation, and no one has higher expectations than the coaches and players do at Hartpury.”
Unique circumstances led to Hartpury’s defeat last weekend.
Seven Hartpury players were in action the evening before, securing the BUCS title at Twickenham. The College side defeated Leeds Met University in a thriller at HQ, taking the title 28-24.
The players then travelled back to Gloucestershire for a significant league clash and Martinovic noted the huge mental and physical effort the double would take.
He continued: “Playing a cup game then playing a league game against our closest rivals is very emotionally draining.
“We were disappointed but a number of factors affected the game. We had a large number of yellow cards, playing most of the second half with just 14 men.
“It was 32-29 until the final 10 minutes. We had fought hard to get back to that point and we were pushing back.
“But they got a couple of late scores and I don’t think the result reflected the performance of the team.
“But I wouldn’t want to say that down to officiating. You have the take the rough with the smooth.
“Sometimes these things happen, and that was day where these decisions went against us.”
Hartpury play third-placed Ampthill and District at home next week, before clashes with basement boys Exmouth and fourth-placed Bishop’s Stortford.