Lovely day for a game
By John McGuinness
Pity about the ref :-)
At 6am on the morning of the game I honestly believed that the match would be called due to pitch being flooded, but the weather picked up and it was an amazing day for rugby. Soft ground, cool weather & lovely sunshine.
Everyone showed up on time (except Toby as usual :-), so we did some warm up drills together and then lined up for the minute silence at 11am.
Overall the score should have been closer, but given the difficulties (see issues below) the lads acquitted themselves very well, and I truly don't think this result is a true reflection on the team given the requests that we facilitated for Kilburn on the day.
Our next game is at home vs Datchworth - so we have more to work on and improve - keep showing up at training and we'll keep getting better
Pics on the day
Let's focus on the good stuff (because there was a lot of good stuff)
Now let's point out some of the issues
- Lads are listening, some of the time, in training and it showed in the game
- There was some amazing textbook tackling going on - big shout out to Henry, Frank, Martin, Amaury, Oisin & Nahuel for some indiviudal tackles that I noticed that were devastating. I may have missed other individual tackles which I'm sure happened and I've gotta say the whole team is getting better at tackling from this performance
- Scrums were excellent, Kilburn scrum was always under pressure, we never lost out own scrum and we nearly won three against the head - Really well done to the forwards Frank, Martin, Holden, Stan, Harry and Henry - all performed admirably
- Lineout work was paying off, but as the ref. was not always cognisant of his responsibilities, it meant set plays were being broken down illegally
- We were passing in the back line with some excellent runs all the way through the back line. The ball made it out wide a lot more than previously - really well done to Jacob, Oisin, Zack, Nahuel (stepping in from forward duty), Amaury, Toby and Hugo
- We showed good structure in attack, and we just need to keep to plan for a whole game
- Aron was water boy on the day - excellent support for the team even though he's injured, much appreciated by all
(because it's good to be honest with ourselves and learn)
- Numbers - we are struggling to get a full team out. This is a 15-a-side game and we need a minimum of 3 subs to field that team. Due to circumstances we managed only 13 players in total, so no subs. We've had some bad luck with injuries and illness (6 players out for this game) and other appointments (1 player out this game). Hopefully this will improve.
- We lost :-D It's never good to lose, but as opposed to last year's losses there was a lot of positives (see above), so actually on this occassion I am not worried about the score
- Kilburn requested to add some of their u15s to both teams. This was more difficult for us as we were using players who haven't trained with us before and it had a significant impact on our overall performance. This will not happen again, lesson learned!!!
- Referee was struggling with the pace of the game with decisions being inconsistent and lots of foul play being missed
- Kilburn play an aggressive game and their referee's capability facilitated that. We need to learn to handle and counter that better
- We're still standing up too much in tackles, making hand-offs by the attacking team a big issue for us
- We suffered some injuries to key players - Hugo, Oisin & Amaury. Hopefully the lads bounce back and there's nothing too serious
- We're still too shallow in attack and not running straight
- Our defensive line is still struggling to organise, stay organised and close space, they had too much room to run at us
The good thing about the all but one of the issues above is that they are one-off issues never to be repeated or we can fix them in training with a little effort, so even though this was a loss, I feel we are still on an upward curve in our ability and teamwork, and that's what we want to do this season (See targets set at the start of the season, click on 'Team Information' and then click on 'More')
In summary, a good showing for the lads despite the loss, some really good progression in teamwork and newer members of the team have really stepped up well. We still have a lot of work to do in training but as a team both coaches can see consistent improvement and we're looking forward to the next match.