Socino: Now Comes The Pressure

After a week off and the rest for the Guinness PRO14 thanks to the opening round of the Six Nations, we were back to training knowing that we did not have a game to play on the weekend.

The coaching staff decided to give us an extended break and we had a short, three-day week.

Guest column by Edinburgh player Juan Pablo Socino

After a very busy first half of the season, under a lot of pressure and many games, being able to stop for a few days is always welcomed.

To be able to forget about the game for a while, rest the body and the mind is positive.

This past week only meant working on Wednesday, Thursday and Friday. The first two days we shared the stadium, gym and facilities with the Scottish team preparing for the game against Ireland.

On Friday, it was decided to make good use of the fact we are not playing games in the next couple of days and shift our session to a CrossFit gym. It was a change of location and a new way of training that made it enjoyable and it is also a team-bonding exercise. All of this is very positive and you can see how they help in the little things during games.

Watch JP Socino and Edinburgh LIVE in the Guinness PRO14 All Season 
(Latin America, Spain, Portugal, France, Middle East, North Africa)

We are now entering the second and final stage of the season, with a three-game rush that will be crucial for our playoff chances.

We first host the Newport Dragons, then Cardiff and then travel to Italy to play Benetton Treviso.

In the first half, we managed some great wins, but also threw away some precious opportunities, like the games against the Dragons, Zebre in Parma, and, more than any other, the loss in South Africa to the Kings before the break.

This puts pressure on us for the next games, in which taking points will be very important.

During the Six Nations, every team loses players and it is when the strength and weakness of the squads are put on evidence.

Watch Edinburgh vs. Dragons LIVE Feb. 14 
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Next week, we play against the Newport Dragons, probably the Welsh team that has lost the least amount of players to the national team.

It will be a big test for our squad. As I mentioned before, the last game against them in Wales was not what we were expecting, full of mistakes and defensive lapses in which we only managed to come out with a defensive bonus point.

This time, we can’t allow the luxury of a performance such as that one; we must showcase our style of play from the kickoff and use the fact that we are playing at home in front of our fans.

Our road to the kickoff starts against the Dragons.

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Conventional wisdom says that if you've played and beaten a team twice in a season, then the third time is enormously difficult; Saint Mary's put paid to that wisdom with a dominant 71-12 victory.