by George Willoughby
Deputy Head of Sport George Willoughby has been speaking to the president of the Cardiff Cobras Jack Pitt. At the time of writing, the Cobras have started the season unbeaten, and their victory over Worcester before Christmas saw them begin the new term with four wins from four games.
Cardiff is amongst Leeds, Derby, Portsmouth and Brunel for the only sides in Division One yet to be defeated.
There was a good feeling in the Cardiff camp going into the 2019-20 campaign, and the undefeated start is evidence of that.
Speaking about pre-season expectations, club president Jack Pitt already felt they “had a strong side”.
“We had very few leavers last year, meaning that the amount of experience that the team had collectively made us one of the more veteran based teams in the league, and the wider division.
“During preseason, as a team, we set a goal for a number of the aspects of our sport, including turnovers, points difference and of course overall win record.”
Cardiff have won six games in a row so they are very much on track to finish the season near the top of the table.
Being able to maintain this excellent form will be the focus ahead of another challenging set of fixtures. Multiple factors have to come together, and this involves performances on and off the pitch.
Pitt was quick to point out that a “winning team is a happy place to be”.
“Training is productive, and everyone is 100% invested in the club’s success, putting in hours off the training field as well as on it in terms of gym programmes and classroom sessions.”
The Cobras have been developing as a squad each year. Maintaining their core group of players, aided by a strong mindset of wanting to improve, are two aspects that are attributable to their recent success.
Pitt also praised excellent coaching staff:
“Their commitment to us as a team is what enables us to train as much as we do, which in turn helps us to become better players. Their service to us is a big part of what makes us great.
“Secondly, the attitude of the club has changed in the time that I have been here. Whilst training is crucial to success in our sport, the commitment to the team off the field is what really makes a team stand out, which has vastly improved.
“People take small groups out to the local parks to practise, and positional leaders hold film analysis sessions in their living rooms in order to teach less experienced players.
“Even if a team is a match for us quality wise, no team is more committed or prepared.”
The Cobras have been performing at a very high standard in the league. They will need to be even better if they are to surpass rivals Swansea at this year’s Varsity.
Although the derby match is still a few months away, Varsity is “never far from our thoughts” according to Pitt.
“With Swansea being in the Premiership they’re a great quality side that we respect hugely and relish the opportunity to play against.
“Swansea [have been] so dominant in years gone by, [although] last year’s game in which we were winning at half time really made us realise that they are definitely beatable.
“Despite the loss last year, we’re confident in being able to challenge them this year, riding on the back of a successful regular season and ending the year on a high.”
The Cobras will next be in action against Exeter on February 9.