Back from a four-month injury lay off number eight Alex Shaw is hoping to quickly recapture his early season form as the Knights approach their final five Championship games of the regular season
Shawsy showed very little sign of rustiness as he made his return from the bench against former employers Nottingham earlier this month with the 28-year-old contributing to the Knights impressive finish at Lady Bay.
Speaking in the build up to the Knights trip to The Athletic Ground on Saturday, Alex detailed the frustration that comes with injury and his pleasure at being back on the field. “It is great to be back playing, injuries can be a really trying time.
“I was quite fortunate in a way to have a couple of other players who were also out with similar injuries as we could go through the rehabilitation process together and we’re now all back out on the pitch playing which is a positive thing.
“I’m excited to be back playing and hopefully I can get some more game time in the next couple of weeks.”
The Knights have enjoyed some fine victories and agonising defeats since Shaw picked up his shoulder injury in early November; commenting on the side’s form the back-rower says the outlook is only positive. “It’s can be quite difficult to get a full feeling of how we’re performing if you aren’t actually playing, when you’re out there on the pitch you get a sense of how games are flowing a lot better than on the side lines.
“That said I think we’ve turned a corner recently, we are starting to put performances together and, when we do, we look a very dangerous team.
“It is now just about trying to be consistent and making sure that we keep our performance, accuracy and discipline to the highest level going into our last five games.”
It is no secret that the Knights have a challenging end of season run in and, with just five points separating third from sixth, the stakes could hardly be higher.
Saturday sees the Knights take on London Scottish before hosting Yorkshire Carnegie and then a trip to Penzance but Alex says there is little point gazing too far into the future. “It is a bit of a cliché but we have to focus on one game at a time.
“We have to go down to face London Scottish who are on a good run of form and are another team that are fighting for the play-offs and put in a good performance.”
Whilst firmly focussed on the task in hand Alex when questioned about the play-off race Alex conceded that undefeated London Irish are the team to beat but that they are certainly not the only side to watch out for. “London Irish have looked the strongest in this division all season so if you had the choice between finishing third or fourth then third is clearly more beneficial but at the end of the day if your goal is to get promoted, which ours is, you’re probably going to have face them at some point.
“Everything we are doing now is about going out and performing against these tough teams because if we don’t we’re going to be on the wrong side of the scoreboard.”
“I think it’s all going to come down to the final weekend, it used to be that Irish and Carnegie were very comfortable at the top but Carnegie have now lost two in a row which makes the play-off spots even tighter.
“If you look at the gap between third and sixth there is so little in it which just makes it even more important to get results from the last five games whichever way you can.”