London Welsh are continuing to play a dangerous game of catch-up in Aviva Premiership Rugby but prop Nathan Trevett believes the New Year has brought a mentality shift to the Kassam Stadium.
And he points to the doggedness in defeat to Harlequins as evidence that the Exiles are in no mood to roll over heading into the business end of the season.
For a team that gave up 78 points against Saracens a little more than two weeks ago, Welsh handed play-off contending Quins a mighty scare on Sunday.
Scrum-half Paul Rowley crossed to hand the hosts a lead midway through the first half but were left to rue a slew of other opportunities which they could not convert.
Quins slowly but surely gained a foothold and the killer blow came with a Tom Williams try – ten minutes before time – sealing a 24-13 win.
The naked truth is that the loss was the Exiles’ 12th Aviva Premiership Rugby defeat in a row this season, but according to loosehead Trevett, his side are intent on consigning one-sided scorelines to the past.
“For us it was our best performance of the season, to have Quins on the ropes for 35 minutes was a real positive and I think in the first 20 minutes we could have scored three tries,” he said.
“Maybe the bounce of the ball went against us in those moments, but you make your own luck.
“But we were quite happy after the game and it’s been a positive camp in training – the performances are definitely coming.
“To get some points would have been outstanding, but you can see that the spirit of the team is here as we didn’t give Quins the opportunity to run away with it – especially as only a few weeks ago we gave up 70-odd points to Saracens.
“From the first minute we had our tails up and when Danny Care came on to set up a lovely try that’s probably what took the game away from us, but we can’t get too disappointed by that.
“We know we’ve been very inconsistent and realistically we’ve got nothing to lose, but we have definitely changed our mentality in a positive way.
“We’re just trying to enjoy our rugby and score more tries – if you don’t you lose, that’s the game we’re in – and against Quins we created more opportunities to do so.”
Injury has been another source of frustration for Trevett, who could only watch on at the start of the season as Welsh endured a horror start.
Back since November, the 29-year-old has been able to pack down once more – and he insists the Exiles’ scrum is finding its feet.
“(The injury) was massively frustrating, you can only come in and do certain things such as weights and then you’re walking around the training paddock watching everyone else out there on the pitch,” he added.
“When you’re watching the games and losing every one by 50 points all you could do is stay positive but I’ve been back for two months now, I’ve started the last two and I feel like I’m helping the team out.
“We’ve got better and better with the scrum each week and I think we’ve got a reputation for conceding a lot of penalties which we’re doing our hardest to get rid of. It’s massively important for us to win ball for the backs so that improvement has to keep coming.”
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