INTERVIEW: De Chaves attributes team performance to St Patrick’s Party atmosphere

21 March 2017

Sebastian De Chaves paid tribute to the atmosphere created by a Greene King IPA Championship regular season record crowd in the Madjeski Stadium on Saturday, as London Irish celebrated their St Patrick's Party with a 39-10 victory over Cornish Pirates.

11,671 fans attended the annual event which was a huge success both on and off the pitch.

"I think the whole day was really good. That was probably the best first half we've played all season, everything that we did came off because everyone knew their role," said De Chaves.

"There was a fantastic energy in the crowd and the players really fed off that."

De Chaves, 25, arrived from Leicester Tigers in the summer and says that the leaders in the squad are bringing out his own leadership qualities.

"I enjoy leading, I captained a few LV=Cup games back in Leicester and felt comfortable doing so," he added.

"In our squad, on any given day, you have a couple of senior leaders in the team which are our core. Therefore the leadership structures are there and we aren't just relying on one person which is a great luxury to have."

Once the business was done on the pitch on Saturday, De Chaves had the opportunity to experience the atmosphere and enjoy the celebrations.

"I was in a box after the game with one of our sponsors, then I managed to get out into the village and it was very festive. The atmosphere was still electric," he said.

London Irish travel to Jersey this Saturday and De Chaves says the team are expecting a tough test in St Peter.

"Jersey are a very good side, they are very well drilled," said the South African lock.

"Their forward pack is particularly strong and out in Jersey it's an open pitch so conditions will play a big factor on how the game pans out. It will be a tough game but if we focus on ourselves like we usually do then the result will take care of itself."

The win at the weekend saw London Irish secure top spot in the Greene King IPA Championship and De Chaves insists the team are still taking it game by game.

"As a squad we want to peak at the right time, so yes it is still a game by game mentality," he added.

"We want to carry as much momentum into the play offs as we can and put in performances we know we are capable of."

London Irish's next home game is against Jersey Reds in the semi-final of the British and Irish Cup on Sunday 2 April with tickets available on general sale from 2pm on Thursday, 23 March. London Irish's last home game will be against Rotherham Titans at 3pm on 8 April and tickets are available from 0118 968 1016 or go to www.lidirect.co.uk to purchase online.

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