At the top level of sport you must prepare for every eventuality – as unlikely try-scorer Rob Buchanan found out after playing a major role in Harlequins’ stunning victory over Saracens.
In what will go down as one of the Aviva Premiership Rugby games of the season, Buchanan finished a brilliant move that started with his own lineout throw.
It resulted in Danny Care sniping through the remains of the lineout and Buchanan was there to finish what became a nominee for Citizen Try of the Week – not that the hooker was expecting to get on the end of it.
“We had been running that move a lot in the week and not one time had Danny Care looked at me on the wing!” Buchanan admitted. “He’d always go the other way, but when it happened in the match it went my way and it came off.
“It’s always nice to score tries, the front-row doesn’t get many of them and to get one in a game like that with the crowd like it was, it was very special.
“To knock Saracens off, particularly at home in front of the Stoop, I haven’t heard the crowd like that in a long time – they were amazing, it made your hairs stand up on end.”
It was a fitting prelude to this week’s good news for Buchanan, who put pen to paper on a fresh contract at Harlequins.
And it shows how highly he is rated by Conor O’Shea and staff, having had to contend with numerous injuries – not to mention stiff competition from Dave Ward and Joe Gray.
The 24-year-old has received the starting nod again this week as Harlequins look to continue their perfect European Rugby Challenge Cup season with a fifth victory on the spin against Cardiff Blues.
And he added: “I’m chuffed to bits, to be honest. We’ve got a great set of lads, a great coaching team, and I’ve been here since I was 18 so the new contract is definitely a dream come true.
“There’s lots of lads here who have come up the same way. One of my immediate goals is to get my 100th cap, that would be a massive milestone for me – not many people would be able to say they’ve played 100 times for a Premiership club.
“It’s a good thing to have three quality hookers at the club, it drives you on and that’s what everyone wants. It’s the same in most positions at Harlequins now, competition is helping us get better and better and hopefully that’s the same in my case.
“When we played Cardiff down at their place it definitely was not a roll-over, so it’ll be a big game at the Stoop this weekend for sure. Europe brings a different dimension to the season and we’re set on fighting on both fronts, so hopefully we can put on another good show for our fans.”