Prolific Turner welcomes pressure

Tue, 09 Oct 2012 18:57
Large sevensmatturner3 Large sevensmatturner2 Large sevensmatturner

England’s South African-born speedster Mat Turner is happy to be a marked man going into the start of the Sevens World Series.

England’s South African-born speedster Mat Turner is happy to be a marked man going into the start of the Sevens World Series.

The 24-year-old was the leading try-scorer in the 2011-12 campaign, touching down 38 times, once more than his teammate Dan Norton, in the course of the nine tournaments.

Turner was also a nominee for World Player of the Year – an award he covets in 2012-13 – but he argues any extra attention coming his way will simply open up more space for the other players in an England squad he believes is their ‘best ever’.

“Last year was my first proper year cementing a starting spot and it gave me an opportunity to build performances one after the other.” said Turner.

“It was my best year so far and that’s a tribute to [head coach] Ben Ryan changing the game plan to work for our individual strengths.

“I want to be player of the year this year. It was one of my goals last year and I was just short. Top try-scorer was never a goal but somehow the boys put me in the right place at the right time and I managed to beat Dan Norton by one. I’m sure he’ll beat me by two this year to show he’s the better try-scorer.

“Do I worry about pressure? I hope people look at me and say ‘what’s he going to produce?’ It’s more of a challenge and if they start marking me up more they’ll give our other guys more room. And you can’t give any of our guys half a yard.”

England start the 2012-13 series with a settled squad of capped players and 10 of the 12 in transit to the Gold Coast Sevens on October 13-14 have lifted titles, most recently in Dubai last December.

Added to that stability, Turner believes the squad are in better physical shape than ever for the punishing tournament format which sees them play six high-intensity games in two days.

He said: “This is the best squad we’ve had. I came in late into pre-season and I was shocked at the pace the guys were running at, their physicality and the condition they were in. It’s a tribute to the coaching staff that we’re in such great shape. If you watched a video of us training and compared it to a year ago, you’d think last year’s team was a semi-pro one. There’s been a huge leap.

“Last year we’d get to Day Two a bit bumped and bruised but now we’re the fittest we’ve ever been. Dan Norton broke the England fitness testing records and it didn’t even look like he was trying that hard. He just cruised. It was scary to watch him just glide along.

“That’s going to make a difference in the way we play. Everyone knows we’ve got wheels [speed]. Now we can keep running and running and when there’s 13 minutes 50 seconds on the clock we can still go 100metres and score a try.”

To mount a challenge for a first series title, though, England need to win more tournaments after a single victory in each of the last two years. They beat New Zealand only once last season and despite a winning record against Fiji, they finished behind the Islanders in third place.

“What lost us big games and finals last year was our mistakes and we’ve been focusing on that, on ourselves and what we do rather than on the opposition. If we do what we do, and do it right, we’ll win games,” added Turner.

“We’ve beaten New Zealand and Fiji, so we know we can do it, and we’ve got guys with a huge amount of experience. Ten of the 12 have won titles. We’ve just got to channel that right.”

There are currently no matches being played
FIXTURE GMT VENUE
Fri, 15 December 2017
Ulster v Harlequins 19h45 Kingspan Stadium
Sat, 16 December 2017
Treviso v Scarlets 13h00 Stadio Comunale di Monigo
Montpellier v Glasgow Warriors 13h00 Altrad Stadium
Leinster v Exeter Chiefs 15h15 Aviva Stadium
Racing Metro v Castres 15h15 Stade Yves-du-Manoir
Bath v Toulon 17h30 Recreation Ground
Sun, 17 December 2017
Wasps v La Rochelle 13h00 Ricoh Arena
Clermont Auvergne v Saracens 15h15 Stade Marcel-Michelin
Ospreys v Northampton Saints 15h15 Liberty Stadium
Leicester Tigers v Munster 17h30 Welford Road
Fri, 22 December 2017
Wasps v Gloucester 22h00 Ricoh Arena
Newcastle Falcons v Harlequins 22h00 Kingston Park
Northampton Saints v Exeter Chiefs 22h00 Franklin's Gardens
Leicester Tigers v Saracens 22h00 Welford Road
Worcester Warriors v Leicester Tigers 22h00 Sixways
Sale Sharks v Bath 22h00 AJ Bell Stadium
RESULT SCORE
Mon, 11 December 2017
Saracens v Clermont Auvergne 14 | 46
Sun, 10 December 2017
Exeter Chiefs v Leinster 8 | 18
Harlequins v Ulster 5 | 17
La Rochelle v Wasps 49 | 29
Sat, 09 December 2017
Munster v Leicester Tigers 33 | 10
Castres v Racing Metro 16 | 13
Northampton Saints v Ospreys 32 | 43
Toulon v Bath 24 | 20
Scarlets v Treviso 33 | 28
Fri, 08 December 2017
Glasgow Warriors v Montpellier 22 | 29
Sun, 03 December 2017
Harlequins v Saracens 20 | 19
Sat, 02 December 2017
Cheetahs v Scarlets 28 | 21
Munster v Ospreys 36 | 10
Wasps v Leicester Tigers 32 | 25
Treviso v Leinster 10 | 36
SEVENS
MORE LOGS
Pool 0
Team P W D L Pts
Spain Sevens 0 0 0 0 20
Pool 19
Team P W D L Pts
England Sevens 0 0 0 0 19
Pool 20
Team P W D L Pts
Uganda Sevens 0 0 0 0 2
Pool A
Team P W D L Pts
Fiji Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Canada Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Samoa Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Scotland Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool B
Team P W D L Pts
New Zealand Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Australia Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
France Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool C
Team P W D L Pts
Argentina Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
United States Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool D
Team P W D L Pts
South Africa Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Kenya Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Russia Sevens 0 0 0 0 0
Pool
Team P W D L Pts
Wales Sevens