Glenn Delaney spoke to the media ahead of Friday’s Heineken Champions Cup round two clash against Toulon. Here are highlights from his press conference.
Looking back at the Bath win, how proud were you of that late defensive effort?
GD: “It sums up how tight this group is. You look at a lot of things as coaches, there are some things you can help with but some things bring themselves, that is one of those moments. The body will do what the mind asks it to. When your mind is that strong and you have a bit of resolve that is the effort you are going to get. I have always been really impressed by our boys’ desire to defend and we have done some big stints on the goal-line before, for example up in Glasgow last season. We have got that character in us and we have got to keep encouraging it and developing it.”
How pleased were you with the impact of the bench last weekend?
GD: “We know we can bring guys on and they will add to the occasion and all the bench played their part. I thought Javan Sebastian deserves a lot of credit for the way he approached replacing Samson so early. It is a massive challenge against Beno Obano who is a destructive loosehead and I thought Javan did a great job, his game is coming on a treat, the scrummaging is a wonderful aspect but there were some great touches around the field and big moments as well.”
Can you give an update on your injuries?
GD: “Jake and Samson are going through HIA protocol so with a six-day turnaround they won’t be ready for Friday. Liam, Johnny Williams and Patch are going through their returns to play; all are improving really well and will really add to us when they are available. Over the last couple of months we have had an opportunity to grow the depth of our squad and are comfortable with how boys are fitting in. Johnny McNicholl is training and we are hopeful for him. We will have a better idea of how his ribs are after this afternoon’s session.”
What are your thoughts on the challenge of Toulon?
GD: “They are a handful. They are very, very big and have got good athletes as well. Ma’a Nonu has come back and made a real intelligent difference to their back play and structures. Him outside Louis Carbonel is a threat because Carbonel is a wonderful 10 who is instinctive and intuitive and now you have Ma’a who has all that experience that can guide them. They are a better team than when we played them last time, I think, They still have the power game, Eben Etzebeth, Romain Taofifenua, Sergio Parisse, who is still playing like the Sergio of old. They are a really dangerous team to play. We got close last time, we just didn’t execute in the back end. We have to make sure we are in the hunt to do that and take those chances when they come.”
Another win would put you in a great position?
GD: “You look at the format, it’s a sprint not a marathon, certainly in pool play. You can already start to see how the shape of the competition is unfolding and when you get to the end of this round you will have a reasonable idea of how the competition is shaping up. I think if you can frame it right after round two, you are putting yourself in a nice position with two games to go. Some teams will have 10 points and flying and some will be on none and they may start thinking differently.”