October 3 2012
Still, there's going to be a sense of shock over just how badly we were out gunned against Ulster. Not only were we overpowered up front but they attacked with far more power and precision.
Most of us had the good sense to know at the start of the season that despite the feel good factor of going back to the arms park, this would be a tricky season.
You cant have so many players leave without there being a rocky period. Building a new side almost from scratch demands either a lot of money or a lot of time and patience. We don't have a lot of money.
On the other hand, I always think its a bit rich when clubs ask supporters to be patient. Watching rugby isn't a civic duty, its actually quite an expensive pastime. If the performance on the field is dispiriting people can't be blamed for not wanting to spend their hard earned on it. We need to look for genuine reasons to be optimistic.
In the longer term, unfortunately we're relying on things that are out of our control – the negotiations with the WRU over the financial basis of the game in Wales, the negotiations over the future of the Arms Park.
But to keep things rugby related, in reality there is still cause for optimism. So long as heads don't drop too low.
Most obvious problem was the scrum. On the other hand, I think so far Benoit Bourrust (not involved Friday night) has so far demonstrated that he can be a useful scrummaging tighthead at this level. When all 19 stone Sam Hobbs returns we might be able to put out a very big and steady front row.
In the back row we have a problem where Pretorius is our only real ball carrying number 8. However Michael Paterson will soon be back, and Josh Navidi has shown good form at 6, with Rory Watts Jones also showing well in his few cameos.
With a front row that can at least be competitive and a hard working back row that can tackle everything in sight, we can at least make ourselves a more difficult team to beat than we were on Friday night.
As for behind the scrum. Well, particularly in the second half, we appeared to lose all attacking shape last Friday and became very easy to defend against. That can at least partially be put down to lacking a platform and the number of changes made in the second half.
But, though Laulala will be missed for a good while, we seem to have more inventive backs than previously thought: Rhys Patchell has emerged ( a real sickener that he'll be out for a month) but Dan Fish has also really kicked on. Add to that the genuine pace we have out wide and we can still beat some respectable opposition.
Which is why the Glasgow game is now massive. Turn the performance around and get a good result, and we'll have shown a lot of character and can have some confidence going into Europe. More of the same.... then I suppose we'll have to learn to be even more patient...