Dwayne Peel spoke to the media ahead of Saturday’s BKT United Rugby Championship round five clash with Zebre Parma. Here are Dwayne’s thoughts on his squad’s state of mind, injury latest and the challenge of the Italians.
What are your reflections of last weekend’s loss to Cardiff?
DP: “Obviously, frustration from our side, we had 68% possession and didn’t manage to get over the line apart from one try. We have spoken this week that we looked edgy at the end of the game, we understand there is a bit of pressure on us, we have been in four tussles and haven’t come out on top. That breeds frustration, I thought there was a lot of frustration towards the end of the game. It is our job to prep well, which I feel we are doing and when we get those opportunities we execute.”
How do you get out of this rut?
DP: “The big thing for me this week is that we don’t go into our shell. We are a side that likes to play with tempo and speed and when that doesn’t happen the tendency is to play tighter and be safe. We have to be bold and keep believing in that, we have shown at times this year when we have opportunities we have been clinical, we need to believe in what we are doing and the team we want to be. We have to stick to the process, that is a bit of a cliche that is thrown out, but we have to believe what we are doing and we have to give the boys confidence to go out and play.”
What is the latest injury news?
DP: “Blade Thomson went off with a HIA so he will go through the protocols, which is a shame because he has been playing well. Vaea’s red card puts pressure on the back row. We are hopeful Josh Macleod will be fit. We have also got Scott Williams back, which will be great for us in terms of leadership. Corey Baldwin picked up a knee injury against Cardiff. Tom Rogers is up and running, but not ready yet and Joe Roberts will be back maybe the end of November, start of December.”
What are your thoughts on the challenge of Zebre?
DP: “They have pushed everyone close, we have done the homework on them and they have been tough games, every one. They could have come out on top against the Sharks, came close to Leinster, pushed Stormers close, they have a lot of the Italian U20s team that has been playing well, they have good athletes, they will be a match. They gave Munster a tough battle in Cork and we are expecting that on Saturday.”
How important are these three games to finish the block?
DP: “They are big games, obviously big games. We can’t hide from the fact we are disappointed where we are sitting in the table and disappointed that we have had opportunities and haven’t finished them off. We are a determined group, working hard on all parts of our game on and off the field and are determined to put it right.”