Marc Jones believes the tide has finally turned for Bristol Rugby after their first win of the season last week, and says the team are carrying extra confidence into Friday’s Aviva Premiership Rugby clash with Bath Rugby.
Bristol had lost their opening ten games in all competitions before they beat Sale Sharks 26-11 in the Anglo-Welsh Cup.
They still prop up the Aviva Premiership Rugby table with two points, but with momentum now on their side Jones thinks they can start climbing it quickly.
Bath beat Bristol 22-6 in the Challenge Cup last month, but Jones has warned Todd Blackadder’s side they will be facing a different beast this time around.
It’s a start, still lots to do & improve. But fantastic to get our first win of the season. Thanks to all the @Bristol_RFC support yesterday
— Tom Varndell (@Tom_Varndell) November 12, 2016
“It has been a long time coming. It has given us a lot of confidence and training has been really good going into this weekend against Bath,” the hooker said.
“There were games where we played well and others where we did not. I believe consistency has been the issue and it has been a hard, challenging start to the season but then this league is always hard.
“We felt that it is only a matter of time before we get that first win and it is only a matter of time now before we get our first Aviva Premiership win.
“We are quietly confident and it is just what we needed and the mood around the place is fantastic, players are staying behind to do extras after training.
“Everyone wants to be in the team so everyone is chomping at the bit and now it is about getting wins and climbing the table.”
Last week’s win was also Jones’ first appearance of the campaign following a knee injury he suffered in pre-season, and the Welshman starts against Bath Rugby this weekend – his first Aviva Premiership Rugby appearance for the club.
— Bristol Rugby (@Bristol_RFC) November 16, 2016
And the 29-year-old is eager to make up for lost time after playing 38 minutes in the second half against Sale Sharks.
“It was my first game back after a lengthy absence with injury so when I went on I anticipated it would be that nervy but the boys were not,” he said.
“They were very calm and played with a lot of composure and you I could see it in the players’ eyes and in their mentality when they came on that they were going to get the win, yet it was surprisingly calm.
“It has obviously been a tough six months because I came off one injury and went straight into another. And with the team not doing so well it has been frustrating.
“I played Friday night and got through it and felt comfortable so now it is about kicking on. One thing this club won’t do is push people in when they are not ready.
“I am raring to go.”