HI it’s Andy here.
Well, this week we can look back at a successful trip to the capital, where we were 32-18 winners at Harlequins and were relatively comfortable in the victory, despite the poor weather conditions.
People have often asked me what preparation goes into an average Super League week.
The video analysis, field sessions and weight training all get mentioned as standard, but in preparing for an away trip to London the travelling and the fatigue associated with it all get factored into the week’s preparation and so things must be altered to give the team the best chance possible to come away with the two points.
Last week’s game was on Saturday instead of Sunday, which meant our working week was reduced by a day, and this made it all the more important we did the right things leading up to the game.
The day before the Quins game we trained in Huddersfield, running through the gameplan on the field before travelling down to London by coach.
One way of making sure the trip doesn’t affect us players is by wearing recovery leggings. These are like flight socks for your whole legs and, although they do the job, they can cause some horrendous sights on the journey down.
It is always the same offenders who seem to think it’s okay to wear skintight pants with nothing covering their modesty!
Once we get on the bus you might ask how 20 rugby league players entertain themselves for five hours.
Well, to start, there is always plenty of food to eat thanks to Hadfield’s Bakers, who provide a couple of trays of sandwiches.
After people take their seats a few groups emerge. Kevin Brown and Jammer, or “Jevin” as they are now known because they are the Giants version of ‘Jedward’ as they are never apart, head up the poker group.
This poker tournament is where the experienced lads try to hustle anyone daft enough to take them on.
Another group can often be found near Scott Grix, who is always keen to make an appearance with his guitar and songbook.
I tend to stay with the technology table, where DVDs, laptops, iphones and music play a big part in whiling away the hours.
However, the boys entertain themselves, Bumper (head conditioner Mark Andrews) makes sure we have a 45-minute break halfway down to make sure our muscles don’t get too stiff.
On arrival at the hotel we check into our rooms and then head straight to the pool, where Bumper puts us through a half-hour recovery session, usually reserved for the day after the game.
In this session we go through stretches and range-of-movement exercises to make sure we haven’t seized up on the trip down.
Now, apart from a video session, the preparations are complete, and the only things we as players have to worry about is not eating too much great hotel food and dealing with your roommate’s strange sleeping habits. And that really is another story!