Harrison hoping Gloucester clash signals fresh start for Saints
In recent months it has been a case of maximum effort, minimum reward forÂ Teimana Harrison.
The Saints No.8 once again displayed his battling qualities at Twickenham last Saturday, but, once again, the result was far from satisfactory.
“I can only speak for myself, but I feel like every time I put the jersey on I want to give it my best and I want to help the team any way I can,” Harrison said.
“It applies for everyone. I don’t think anyone means to have a bad game.
“Sometimes you can’t get into the game the way you want to, sometimes you get shut down.
“Last Saturday was one of those days where a couple of boys had a bad game.”
So have the Saints players been calling each other out behind the scenes?
“Not necessarily calling out,” Harrison said.
“You know whether you’re working hard or not.
“You don’t need a coach to come up to you and say you’re not playing your hardest.
“It comes from deep down and you know whether you’re giving it your all.”
Now Harrison is hoping his hard work starts to pay off and that a new year signals a new start for he and his team-mates.
He was a picture of determination at the midweek media session, stressing how he hopes the arrival of 2018 and, more importantly, new boss Alan Gaffney, will bring dividends.
Quite simply it has to, as Saints are currently a club on the slide.
They were eviscerated by Harlequins last weekend, shipping seven tries in a humbling 50-21 defeat.
It was a Quins team who had lost nine of their past 10 matches against Saints and one that had lost five of its past six games in all competitions.
But they showed no lack of confidence as they ran riot at English rugby HQ.
This afternoon, Saints face another side who they have held the Indian sign over in recent years.
Gloucester have only won one of their past 10 games against Saints, and that victory came at Kingsholm back in early October.
That 29-24 defeat was the one that started this current slump for the green, black and gold.
And how they would love to lift the Kingsholm curse by beating the Cherry and Whites this weekend.
“It’s a new year, halfway through the Prem and it’s time to push recent games aside to work hard on this last part of the season,” Harrison said.
“It’s time to draw new confidence from it being a new year.
“A new coach coming in also helps.
“It’s about boys pulling tight together, trusting in each other and trusting that we’re making the right decision.
“We’re a team that is struggling and at the minute we’re a bit separated.
“The first port of call is to get everyone together and playing on the same page.”
Gaffney is one of the men tasked with helping to make that happen.
And when asked what the new man’s message to the players has been, Harrison said: “Probably that we need to try harder.
“There’s times when we may not chase the kick with everyone - some people are working hard and some people aren’t.
“He’s also told us we’ve got to trust each other and make a decision. If it comes off, it comes off and executing it is the next thing.
“Alan has been good for us so far.
“He’s been here a few days and we haven’t seen too much of him but the times we do see him and he does speak, it’s been very good.”