U15 - No shame in heavy defeat to likely Essex U15 Champions Southend in the cup
Sport is a subjective topic. Very much based on the individual point of view (that would be both figuratively and practically-no benefit of multiple TV angles, slowmo or expert opinion on a Sunday) Report from a Bancroft perspective - no offence intended.
So Southend arrived at Bancroft Rugby Club in the cup having just beaten Thurrock in the previous weeks league game to take a (potentially) decisive lead in the U15 First division. Southend on top with one game to go - if they win they will be U15 Champions (Thurrock waiting in the wings for any potential slip but Southend in the box seat as they say).
Always going to be a tough ask but with Joe having to go home sick on the morning of the game we were down to 14 available players and no scrum half. Southend with 15 on the pitch and another 5 rolling subs meant it was destined to be a day for character building rather than hoping, however optimistically, that we would be extending our current unbeaten run.
Southend were big, physical, pacey and ruthlessly efficient - they are not top of division 1 for nothing. Not really a case of punishing Bancroft mistakes as such but more realistically Southend did not make any mistakes and worked the extra man to produce a succession of overlaps out wide - Bancroft were down 0-28 in pretty quick order and no complaints really.
The result not in question the game settled down a bit and there were periods of reasonably contested game play - unfortunately, from Bancrofts point of view, punctuated by regular Southend scores - generally Southend were content to defend Bancroft pressure and hit us on the break - sound game management. We got tantalisingly close to getting a score on the board 3 or 4 times but determined Southend defence managed to hold the ball up over the line each time - as before they are not top of division 1 for nothing.
Now game result done and dusted it would have been imminently understandable if the players had taken the option on taking an early end to the match as the Southend points tally exceeded 50. It's to the players great credit that they were there to play a game of rugby and they were determined to see it through to the end - they kept their shape and discipline and contested the ball right to the end (To the point that the ref had to tell them a couple of times that the game was over as they were looking to reset after the last score).
These are the sorts of games that the players and coaches will be referring back to for a long time in training and future games. A lot longer that the routine wins. There was a lot of excellent determined Bancroft play and the boys held together under extremely testing circumstances. The coaches can't really ask for much more. It was Southend we were playing - I might have mentioned that they are top of division 1 and, I think, have only lost one game this season playing the best teams Essex have to offer.
Ah well .......got to admit losing is not as much fun as winning: but hopefully we'll get back to winning ways soon enough. Can't win them all as they say (even Southend have lost once this season - although not sure how after seeing them today).