Lock Nic Rouse admits London Irish’s European exit was tough to take, but his team-mates must quickly regain their focus to ensure a strong end to their Aviva Premiership Rugby campaign.
The Exiles were beaten at home by Edinburgh Rugby on Sunday, despite tries from Conor Gilsenan and Scott Steele.
That disappointment followed a run of two wins from three league games and Rouse knows no good can come from dwelling too long on last weekend’s result.
“We’ve had time to reflect now and everyone is still gutted,” he said.
“Results in the Premiership haven’t gone so well for us, so we put a lot of our focus into doing well in Europe. It became our main goal, we got to the quarter-final and got a good draw, we felt it was a nice way through, so it does hurt, everyone is pretty down.
“But you’ve got to get back on the horse and make amends, which starts with some hard graft in training.
“We’ve not won as many games as we would have liked this season, so the motivation now is to win as many as we can before the end of the season. The home games are our priority. We want to turn the Madejski into somewhere where you say ‘that’s our home ground and that’s where we win’.”
Though Irish are in the running to improve on last term’s tenth-place finish, Rouse admits his own season has been “up and down”.
The 33-year-old was voted Players’ Player of the Year for 2013/14, but a shoulder injury kept him sidelined at the back end of last year and only now is he beginning to recapture the form that impressed his team-mates so.
But having committed his future to London Irish by signing a contract extension in February, Rouse knows he will have more than just the final four games of this term to make his mark at the Madejski.
“The board have put some investment in to improve the facilities and shown their intention on the pitch too with some good signings ahead of next season,” Rouse added.
“I’m happy to be part of that.
“It’s nice to be back out playing and I slowly feel like I’m getting back to where I was,” he added.
“Since Christmas it’s been great to be back out there, I feel like I have got better and there are four games left now, which I hope to be involved in.”
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