PRESS NOTES | Alex Austerberry (PWR - Rd 5)
Director of Rugby Alex Austerberry is refusing to get carried away, as his side head into Saturday’s clash with Leicester Tigers Women.
After three bonus-point victories to start the campaign, Saracens sit at the top of the table. The DoR though, is instead focusing on the development of his side’s attacking game in the early stages of the campaign.
“It’s really early on in the season, so there is no point getting carried away with points. What we can look at though is the here and now. Fair play to the coaching staff and the players, because we’ve really picked up the importance of taking the opportunities when they come. We’re focusing really hard on being ruthless in and around the 22 and making the most of those opportunities. Duncan Taylor has really helped drive it forward as well. It’s been three good performances, but three good wins don’t make a season.”
When pressed on what was contributing to performances, Austerberry explained that his side were constantly looking to be the best versions of themselves on the pitch.
“We’re focused on performing to our standards and being who we want to be on the pitch. We want to live those Saracens values and bring them to life in performances. It’s about being disciplined and honest in our performances.”
Leicester Tigers are new into the league this season and, whilst they are yet to record a victory, Austerberry is aware of the threat they will pose. He has though, challenged his side to focus on themselves on Saturday afternoon.
“Fair play to Vicky and everyone up at Leicester. It’s been a whirlwind summer to get a team together, but my job is to focus on my team and improving us as a side. There’s 80 minutes on Saturday and we want them to be quality. When we’re defending too, we want to make it about us. It’s a team sport, so it’s always about how you can be the best team.”
One of the standout performers in the most recent league outing was prop Donna Rose. After a season out with injury last year, the Welsh international put in an explosive showing against Harlequins, with Austerberry crediting her for the way she has returned to the pitch.
“Donna is a fantastic character. She’s wonderful to have around the group and she was outstanding against Harlequins. The great thing is seeing Donna fit, happy and playing incredibly well on the field. Long may that continue as well, because she works incredibly hard at her game. When you see players flourishing and living up to the potential they have, it’s hugely rewarding as a coach.”
With a rest week last weekend allowing the side to rest and recover, Austerberry is expecting his side to have a spring in their step come kick-off in Leicester.
“It's no different to how the season has been structured previously in terms of having the rest week. We had a lighter training week than normal last week, but we still ramped it up towards the backend of the week. There was a team bonding event as well and that sort of thing is immensely valuable, arguably just as much as the rest and recovery. Hopefully we’ll see a bounce off of it this week.”