The Adventures of Sinbad: Bath, Bucko and golf
James Simpson-Daniel's weekly column: The Adventures of Sinbad.
Brought to you in association with rugby charity Wooden Spoon
IT SHOWED A LOT OF GUTS FOR NIGEL TO SAVE UP FRUSTRATION
WHEN Bath hammered us 32-5 at Kingsholm three weeks ago, Nigel Davies put the anger and frustration straight into his back pocket.
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He saved it up when he could have let rip at the boys in the changing rooms that day.
That must have taken a lot of bravery and discipline.
He has brought his feelings out this week – and there have been no complaints from the squad.
I think it has been a very shrewd move from Nigel – he didn’t heap any extra pressure on the squad at the time.
And now he has used that game as a tool to prepare the team for Friday night’s West Country Premiership derby at The Rec.
Bath were far more physical three weeks ago: they bullied us, and that’s no secret.
So there’s huge emphasis this weekend of course on that physicality.
That should come in bucket loads against your local rivals.
That grit and doggedness will be a huge part of what’s required on Friday.
There’s no better feeling than when you win at Bath, or away from home in general, and silence the opposition crowd.
We’ve done it before down there, and the challenge for the boys involved is to do it again on Friday night.
Since that Bath game the physicality and doggedness has improved, and it needed to.
But Bath are on fire at the moment, and we’ve got to be prepared.
The contact area will be brutal, so we’ve examined what they will do in that regard.
The lads have kept on practising, rehearsing and visualising what it will be like on Friday.
The coaches have put the squad through that, and I think that could be crucial.
IT IS FITTING TINS WILL NOTCH 150TH GAME AT BATH
MAYBE in a strange way Mike Tindall was always destined to rack up his 150th competitive appearance back at his old club Bath.
Back where it all started at The Rec, hopefully Tins will notch the massive milestone for the Cherry and Whites on Friday.
Players tap into any motivation they can these days.
Tins is not exactly overtly emotional in his approach to rugby – but even he might well just channel his pride at such a landmark achievement into this massive league clash.
I HAVE NEVER BEEN SO HAPPY TO BE OUT RUNNING IN THE COLD BEFORE
SPRINT sessions in the freezing cold on Tuesday morning made me the happiest man in the world.
I have been back training with the main squad for the first time since shoulder surgery this week.
And it has felt great.
I am not doing any contact work yet, and I am not ready to play on Friday night.
But I am getting closer, and being part of the main work again has been massive.
Without any setbacks I should be fit for the London Welsh game after the two weekends without a match.
Nigel Davies has given us next week off, to recover in time for the season’s final push.
Some of the lads are heading off for some sun, and they were trying to convince me to go.
I would feel very guilty if I did that though – it’s not the right time for me to go away, even if I kept training during a break.
Fair play to the lads who are heading off, they will be better for it.
But I am desperate to be ready for the final run-in, and staying put is the best way to make that happen.
WINNING FORMULA TO BE REPEATED
HORSE racing and rugby are a great mix if you ask me – I’m pretty sure everyone already knows I think that.
But it seems my team-mates might be starting to agree.
Last year Pete Buxton held an event for his testimonial during the Cheltenham Festival.
Bucko’s parents’ house backs onto the racecourse, and they set up hospitality in a marquee, tote betting and the whole thing was the real deal.
The whole day was a great success – so it is happening all over again.
This year though it is being run as part of the celebrations for the benefit years for Alex Brown and Nick Wood (pictured, right).
Top marks from the Buxtons for providing the venue again – the views across the course are fantastic.
Racing meets rugby once again then – a winning formula for me, and I’d like others to give it a crack too.
BIG CHANCE TO GET INTO THE SWING OF IT:
YOU wouldn’t want me as part of your golfing group.
I will freely admit I am a proper hacker – and it winds me up a treat.
I know I should just let it go, but I really struggle with that.
Despite my frustrations with the game I do love it, and really enjoy the charity golf days when they come around.
Wooden Spoon have a great competition lined up for Thursday, April 25: the Gloucestershire Rugby Clubs Golf Competition.
Spoon want as many rugby clubs to enter teams of four as possible.
Imagine the bragging rights for the overall winners – it promises to be a great day.
Once upon a time I managed a 3 net 1 at the fifth at Cotswold Hills – as much to my amazement as anyone else’s.
I have witnesses from that day who will attest that I managed to play not just one but three good golf shots in a row, and I’ve got the scorecard framed to prove it!
I didn’t shout too loudly about it though, because I knew another slice was just around the corner.
My point is that anyone – and I really mean this – can pull off something special in golf.
This county clubs tournament should be wide open – so get in there.
For more information contact Colin Gibson, on 07796 142979 or email colingibson850@.com
TIP OF THE WEEK
EVEN pro sportsmen from other disciplines look at the top tennis players with massive admiration.
Their guts and conditioning is phenomenal, and the pinnacle of the game can certainly be compelling.
One man right up there is Novak Djokovic, and he’s my tip this week – to claim the Dubai Open.
That might not seem like the longest bet in the world, but the likes of Andy Murray and Roger Federer – the title holder – always makes things interesting.