Oliver Gildart’s pre-season blog was that good we’ve decided to keep it going during the season too. Read on for more of Gilly’s Gossip!
Hello everyone, hope you’re all good.
As you all know, we have been in Australia for over a week now for our tour of New South Wales.
Before the Hull game last week, we were doing a recovery session on the beach and all the lads were in the sea and everyone was getting a bit giddy after we saw some jellyfish. I was only about 10-15 metres from the sand and one wrapped itself around my leg and stung me. It wasn’t the best of experiences as it really hurt but at the same time it’s a good story to tell if nothing else! The young lifeguard girl came over and she was calling me “soft” to all of the lads so I’ve been getting stick all week about that.
In terms of the win against Hull on Saturday it was a great experience. It had a ‘final’ mentality about it and for me personally, I felt a bit of pressure and I was nervous but it was great to see both sets of fans turn out and create a very loud atmosphere. The WIN stadium itself is unbelievable with a view of the beach and I’m glad I’ve ticked it off the list.
During pre-season I said I would like our left edge to score lots of points this year and so far it’s going good. Personally, I made a couple of decisions were I probably bombed a couple of tries and I know I have to be better for the weekend but we are getting in the right positions and posting some points and hopefully that continues. We’ve had a chat with each other to make sure we don’t slack off, as last year other teams realised that we were scoring points so they upped their game against us and tried to change how we play. This season we have to make sure we’ve got a plan B and plan C in case it happens again.
At the end of the day, it is rugby and me and all teams will make errors at some point, it’s good that we are in those positions to score tries and create opportunities for each other. It’s also only Round 2 so as the games go on we should sharpen up on that and hopefully become more.
For me, it is my first time in Australia. The last time we came in here in 2014 to face Sydney Roosters, my year group went to the South of France. You can see though why the lads speak very highly of it. It’s a great place and I’m really enjoying myself so far. Wollongong was great, the people there really welcomed us with open arms and I’m sure it’ll be the same again this week in Sydney.
On Saturday’s game against South Sydney Rabbitohs I have to say I’m pretty nervous already. Some of their players are the best in the business and I’m looking forward to getting out there and testing myself again against another NRL team and hopefully we can get the win.
I watch the NRL games quite a lot so Budgie (Joe Burgess) doesn’t need to tell me what to expect from their outside backs, as he played for them in 2016. I know what is coming so I’ve got to be on my game and hopefully they’ll know about our left edge by the end of the game too. It’s going to be a real tough challenge but one that I’m looking forward to.
There is a big emphasis on us, Hull and Leeds to fly the Super League flag this weekend. We got two wins last season against the NRL sides and I don’t see why we can’t make it three this year. We have to make sure that we play our part and get a win and hopefully Leeds and Hull do the same.
Any English side that comes over to Australia will always naturally be supported by Super League clubs. I think the World Club Challenge will be a good game too as Melbourne Storm are a fine team and it will be a tough game for Leeds but I think they have the quality to beat them.
Finally I’d just like to wish Scott Taylor well- it was quite scary to hear that he’d had problems with his appendix during the game on Saturday and had surgery soon after. Tag is one of the good guys and the team here wish him well in his recovery.
Thanks for your support both here in New South Wales and back home.
See you soon,