It was a tough physical battle at the weekend as Scotland picked a big side, but we were determined to build on the good things we did in the QBE Internationals so it was important that we started with a win. We were happy to put lots of points on the board, although we still need to tighten up in defence.
Lots of people asked me about my try after the match, too. It was great to get the first international score of my career, but I don't really tend to dwell on the positives after each game as we try and look at what can be improved in order to iron out the imperfections. It was a brilliant pass by Faz (fly-half Owen Farrell) though, which rightly got voted Moment of the Match in this week's O2 Inside Line. All I had to do was finish it off!
I went home to Leicester straight from the post-match meal and had a full day off on Sunday, then we met up again with the squad at Pennyhill Park on Monday afternoon. While we're in camp there's not really much downtime as if we're not training we'll be in the gym, or having team meetings. We'll also get rub downs by the team masseurs but it's far from the relaxing Indian Head Massages that people might think! The deep tissue sports massages are pretty uncomfortable but they're essential to our recovery. At least that's what I'm told!
This weekend we're playing on the Sunday so it's a slightly longer week for us. We'll fly out to Dublin on Friday and have the team run on Saturday at the stadium. I don't really have any odd pre-match superstitions but I do like sticking to a general routine to make sure I feel fully prepared. For example, I'll always have a big lasagne or spaghetti bolognese the night before the match, which is something I've done for years.
The management have identified areas to target the opposition, and we'll continue to look at these throughout the week. We certainly know we can't start the way we did against Scotland by conceding early - especially against Ireland who came out of the blocks quickly with scores against Wales.
The Irish have huge amounts of experience right through their side and will be playing in front of a loud Irish home crowd, so we'll need to be right up for it. But that's the consistency that we're all striving for in order to give ourselves the best chance of winning this tournament.
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