New year, fresh start for Irish

Thu, 03 Jan 2013 12:13
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London Irish lock George Skivington hopes the New Year brings with it a fresh start at the Madejski Stadium.

London Irish have suffered a difficult start to their Premiership season but according to veteran lock George Skivington, nobody is pressing the panic button just yet despite another tough week at the office.

Defeat to Harlequins in front of 82,000 at Twickenham was compounded further by the fact that the night before, Sale Sharks downed Worcester Warriors 33-27 to close the gap on the Exiles at the foot of the table to just a point.

But the bad news kept on rolling in for London Irish as the New Year was greeted with the announcement that Shaun Edwards had ended his consultancy role with the club to focus on his Wales coaching commitments.

Edwards' departure and the fact that the Exiles have lost their last seven games in all competitions doesn't make for pleasant reading as the club enter 2013.

But Skivington is adamant no-one is going to lose sleep over what has gone before, instead hoping the New Year brings with it a fresh start at the Madejski Stadium.

"Shaun Edwards is a world-class coach, his record speaks for itself and it is sad that he is gone," he said.

"But it was a massive task what he was doing at the club one day a week, working with a squad that is new just like we are.

"It was also a big ask with his Wales commitments, which is his main focus, but life goes on and people move on, that is just the way the game is.

"You can't let these sort of things affect you and you can't look over your shoulder, you just have to look forward and move on as best you can.

"As for the Sale result, that doesn't really affect us because I think that if you are relying on other teams to lose games to not get relegated, then you are probably in more trouble.

"So everyone here knows the situation we are in heading into the New Year and we are taking it in our stride.

"There is no other approach for us because we are not challenging for silverware so we have to take it week-by-week and hopefully we can get some results sooner rather than later."

Despite going down to defending champions Harlequins last time out, London Irish ran them close with the scores level at 6-6 at half-time before the Exiles slipped to a 26-15 defeat.

And lock Skivington admits this pattern is becoming all too familiar this season, with Lady Luck yet to smile in Irish's direction.

"The loss to Quins was a shame really because I thought as a team we did quite well and fronted up and had them on the back foot sometimes," he added.

"We dug it out and thought that if we got a losing bonus point then that was the least we deserved but the penalty try at the end put an end to that and I thought it was a bit harsh.

"But that seems to be the way it goes, when you are winning these things go your way and when you are losing they don't.

"It is frustrating but there is nothing we can do except plug away and hope our luck changes."

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Team P W D L Pts
Northampton Saints 22 16 1 5 76
Bath 22 16 0 6 75
Leicester Tigers 22 15 1 6 68
Saracens 22 14 1 7 68
Exeter Chiefs 22 14 0 8 68
Wasps 22 11 2 9 61
Sale Sharks 22 11 0 11 54
Harlequins 22 10 0 12 49
Gloucester 22 9 1 12 48
London Irish 22 7 1 14 40
Newcastle Falcons 22 5 1 16 34
London Welsh 22 0 0 22 1