An all too familiar and painstaking sight

Louis Lynagh of Harlequins is tackled by Tom OÕFlaherty of Exeter Chiefs during the Gallagher Premie

Louis Lynagh of Harlequins is tackled by Tom OÕFlaherty of Exeter Chiefs during the Gallagher Premiership Cup Final between Exeter Chiefs and Harlequins at Twickenham Stadium June 26, 2021 in London, England (Photo by Phil Mingo/PPAUK) - Credit: Phil Mingo/PPAUK

I am still feeling a bit worse for wear after what was a great day at HQ, but also feeling the sting of the loss. Any loss is tough to take, none more so than that in a final and I am merely a fan nowadays. The players will be feeling it a hell of a lot more than I do. 
Losing a final will be carried with them over this five-week off-season and no chance to review and put the game to bed until they regroup at the end of July. Add to this the inevitability of players moving on, it becomes a very sombre time. 
The Chiefs, like so many other teams, have battled through a season like no other and never truly hit their straps in my opinion. The Twickenham finale was no different, showing flashes of brilliance that we come to admire but ultimately Harlequins were on top for too much of the game.  
I imagine both sets of coaches would have been disappointed to concede the points they did but both sides contributed to what was a top draw game for the fans to watch. 
A quality performance from the Quins side, with a relatively new coaching staff and some very young and exciting players. They played with the fluidity you come to expect from them at their best, something the Chiefs failed to deal with all game.  
Now is a chance for most to rest up, however, for others on to the Lions. I want to wish them all the best and I hope them all the success. Four men that Chiefs fans can be so proud of already, and I’m sure they will continue to do the club and themselves proud. 
Back to the drawing board for the Chiefs and the coaching staff, but an opportunity to take stock and plan what hopes to be a normal season and a bounce back opportunity. No doubt the 21/22 season will be very interesting with the return of the Saracens to the top flight and 13 teams now competing at Premiership level. 
A huge date on the horizon for me is the restart of Sidmouth’s pre-season on July 6, a date that hopefully kicks off a successful season uninterrupted by the virus. Myself and Jack will be brainstorming of how to attack the season, hopefully playing some fantastic rugby at the Blackmore in front of a bumper crowd. 
I can’t wait to get some tough sessions under the belt, which is slowly increasing in size without the opportunity to consistently train. Fresh air and running around with your mates and a rugby ball, in my simple life it doesn’t get much better. 

Jannes Kirsten of Exeter Chiefs about to be tackled by Joe Marler of Harlequins during the Gallagher

Jannes Kirsten of Exeter Chiefs about to be tackled by Joe Marler of Harlequins during the Gallagher Premiership Cup Final between Exeter Chiefs and Harlequins at Twickenham Stadium June 26, 2021 in London, England (Photo by Phil Mingo/PPAUK) - Credit: Phil Mingo/PPAUK

Dejection for Ben Moon of Exeter Chiefs, Jack Yeandle of Exeter Chiefs, Jonny Gray of Exeter Chiefs

Dejection for Ben Moon of Exeter Chiefs, Jack Yeandle of Exeter Chiefs, Jonny Gray of Exeter Chiefs and Stuart Hogg of Exeter Chiefs after the Gallagher Premiership Cup Final between Exeter Chiefs and Harlequins at Twickenham Stadium June 26, 2021 in London, England (Photo by Phil Mingo/PPAUK) - Credit: Phil Mingo/PPAUK


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