London Irish must keep winning feelingBy Jonathan Low
January 18, 2013
Jerry Yanuyanutawa says London Irish cannot afford to become complacent in the coming weeks as the side puts the Aviva Premiership on hold.
The Exiles take on Bordeaux-Begles at Madejski Stadium tomorrow (3pm kick-off) in their final Amlin Challenge Cup pool game, followed by Worcester Warriors and Cardiff Blues in the LV= Cup over the following weeks.
They then return to Premiership action on February 9 for the visit of Saracens as they look to move up the table.
And despite two wins already in 2013, forward Yanuyanutawa insists it is vital for the side to keep improving.
"We want to keep this winning feeling going at this club and for the team in general,” he said.
“It was a great start to the year at Gloucester (18-12 win). The players stood up and you want to continue to push each other and get results.
“So we need to make sure we’re ticking off the things that we’re working on so we can be better on the field.”
Irish won their penultimate game last week in France against Mont de Marsan, and despite being eliminated from the competition due to Gloucester’s win against Bordeaux, the Fijian says there is still work for the side to do.
“You can’t rest on your laurels, you’ve always got to work to be better,” he said.
“There were some positives and negatives in the Mont de Marsan game for me personally which I need to work on and correct, but as a team we gave away six or seven penalties in scoring positions so any good team will convert those.
“So for us, as a team, it’s heading in the right direction but we can’t rest on our laurels. Hopefully tomorrow we’ll pick up again and perform better.”
The Fijian came to Berkshire from Australian side ACT Brumbies last summer and made his first start for the club in last week’s win in France, after making nine appearances for the Exiles as a replacement so far this season. And he has no regrets at all about making the move.
“It’s a great club and a great bunch of boys,” said Yanuyanutawa.
“I can’t speak highly enough of the coaching staff. I’m really happy I made the move and I’m getting better. I didn’t have many opportunities last year which was frustrating as a competitor but I’m relishing every opportunity I get now, whether it’s five, 10 or 80 minutes. I will always give my best because I’m a competitor.
“I live to compete.”
Yanuyanutawa explained he is looking to get some consistency to his game to work his way into Brian Smith’s regular starting XV.
He said: “I’ve been getting opportunities now and I’m thankful to the coaching staff who’ve put faith in me. You want to be starting all the time, but at the end of the day it’s about the team, that’s how I see it.
“For me it’s about being consistent across the board, whether I’m starting or coming off the bench. It’s about doing my job for the group.”
And the prop said he is loving the English game.
“The game is very physical, but I don’t shy away from physicality. I have my own blend of island flair that I can pull out when I need to but I’m loving the confrontational game.
“It’s nothing different to Super Rugby but it is more physical, body-on-body. We’re playing on boggier pitches like at Mont de Marsan.
“But you get to play in good stadiums too like the Madejski which is fast paced and rivals a Super Rugby game.
“So for me I’ve enjoyed it and loving every moment of it.”