SECOND row forward Tom Jubb didn’t enjoy the best of starts to his Coventry career, but is happy that his season is now going in the right direction after a run of good performances over the last month.
The England Under-20 and former Saracens Academy lock was red carded for a dangerous tackle in the second week of the season at Moseley and, on his return to the side, picked up a couple of yellows in subsequent games which cost him his place and made him take a close look at himself.
“I wouldn’t say I was unlucky, I’ve been my own worst enemy at times this season,” said Jubb, who scored the injury-time try which paved the way for Cov’s last-gasp win over Old Albanian last Saturday.
“I went through a stint when I just gave away penalties for fun which led to me not being picked, which is obviously understandable.
“But since I’ve been given another opportunity I’ve really been trying to sort that out and I feel I have done.
“The coaches hammered home the point that if I kept giving away five penalties, or whatever it was, we weren’t going to win many matches which is absolutely true.
“I just had to sort myself out in that department, it wasn’t anything too drastic and just a case of focusing on being squeaky clean rather than anything else, staying on the right side of the edge.”
Jubb has packed a lot into his rugby career for a 23-year-old and will put another tick against one of his former clubs if he plays at Darlington Mowden Park on Saturday – something which could be a good omen as Cov have won the games against the three he has faced so far in Plymouth Albion, Cambridge and Old Albanian.
Jubb was an early starter, following his grandad’s wishes as against those of his father, a high-standard footballer, by joining Watford club Fullerians at around the age of five. He went to Hitchin Boys School, a rugby-playing school, and played club rugby for Letchworth in his final years in the colts before going to Oaklands College, an arm of the Saracens Academy.
“While I was there I spent time on loan at Old Albanian, Cambridge and Bedford Blues, and then from the end of my stay at Saracens I went to Plymouth Albion, when they were in the Championship, and then Darlington Mowden Park,” said Jubb, who played a prominent role for Park in their home win over Cov last season alongside Rob Conquest in the second row with Ali Bone in the back row.
A broken ankle, sustained in January, ended Jubb’s involvement at the north east club and over the summer he followed Conquest and Bone to Butts Park.
“I had a bit of interest from elsewhere, but when I came and met Rowland Winter and had a chat with him about what he wanted to achieve, it fitted in with what I wanted, so it seemed the right thing to do,” said Jubb.
“It’s turned out that way, I’ve settled in really well and I’m enjoying myself.
“I feel I’m building quite nicely. There are games I’ve had where I’ve felt I’ve played really well and other games where I’ve felt I’ve been in and out in terms of involvement – last Saturday was probably the best example of that.
“It was very competitive, but we were our own worst enemy in terms of giving the ball away and I was one of the chiefs in that which wasn’t pleasing for me. But other parts of my game went really well, and I’m looking forward to hopefully getting another shot on Saturday.
“I know some of the lads who are still at Mowden Park and I’ve got some quite close links from living up there, so it will mean a lot to me to get the win at the weekend.”
Jubb describes his three years at Saracens as ‘phenomenal’ in terms of his development, despite the disappointment of being released at the end of it.
“Every part of it was brilliant, from the way they .looked after us off the field to on the field, and I really look back at it fondly.
“I learnt a whole heap from being around big-name players in my position like Steve Borthwick and Alistair Hargreaves, seeing how they liked to go about things in terms of analysis and preparation for games. It was invaluable.
“Being released does take the wind out of your sails, but at the time it happened to me I was injured and I couldn’t go out and prove myself on the pitch, so I just had to get myself fit and then when the opportunity came to go to Plymouth, although it worked out the way it did for them, personally I felt it was a really good move for me at the time.
“You’ve got to come back strong and fighting, it gives you motivation and you learn from it.”
Added Jubb: “One thing that I have learnt over the last few years is not to look too far ahead, so at the moment I’m just concentrating on getting my head down and working hard so we, as a group, can take Coventry forward.
“That is the main aim, the results will come if we keep working hard, and hopefully it will end up with us getting to where we want to go as players. Everyone wants to kick on and go to the next level, so if we can get Coventry there, it’s a foot in the door.
“There’s a huge amount to come from the group, we’ve got an unbelievable amount of talent here which is why competition for places is so high. It may be frustrating for boys to be in and out of the team, but when you get your chance you have got to take it because if you don’t, there is someone else waiting who can do your job just as well or better.”