Blackbrook Royals 20 Shevington Sharks 4
Shevington Sharks Under 16s, some of whom appeared to think they knew more than their coaches in the training session immediately prior to this game, didn’t much enjoy this trip to arch-rivals Blackbrook Royals as it revealed that they actually don’t
Hopefully, some of those players who weren’t taking training too seriously in the build-up to what should have been regarded as one of the toughest matches of the season, will have felt a tad humiliated after this exercise in snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.
If not, they should do.
Having elected not to play this match the way they were coached, they did it their own way instead – and subsequently lost a fixture they could very easily have won.
Perhaps next time they will listen to those who know better.
With regard to the match action … the first thing to say about this very disappointing performance in that Shevington were easily a match for Blackbrook in physical terms. They rarely lost the collision, forcing error after effort from the home side. At one point in the second period, they went from the half-way point to the Blackbrook try-line with three individual drives – only to spectacularly blow it at the next play-the-ball with a truly amateurish knock-on.
And here lies the rub. Bar two occasions, the Sharks managed to botch every single set of six they had near the opposition’s line. In fact, overall, they completed just nine out of 25 sets in the entire game. Let’s say that again in case someone missed it – just nine out of 25!
That is a significantly worse statistic than their embarrassing 50/50 completion rate in the previous match against Rylands Sharks.
[b]If the Shevington lads don’t consider they need to take a long look at themselves in the mirror, there is something wrong with them. These figures represent a downward trend at the same time as there is apparently an upward trend in terms of messing about at training. Go figure.
The Sharks’ only try came when hooker Brad Cartwright spotted a gap near the Blackbrook line and dived over from dummy-half in fashion reminiscent of Kieron Cunningham (who, by a twist of fate, happened to be there, watching!). He had to leave the field shortly afterwards due to an ongoing back injury. Other good efforts came from centre Harry Finch, who was unfortunate to have a try disallowed after crashing over courtesy of a great pass from stand-off Cameron Boulter, Boulter himself, who did his best to martial a painfully disorganised attack, full-back Jake Simm, who half-broke repeatedly, loose-forward Sam Gray for a generally sterling effort and stand-off Sam Wilde, who ran his blood to water.
Kudos also goes to winger Joe Roughley, who had his best game in Shevington colours, centre Ryan Shaw for constantly looking dangerous, and prop Alex Budd, who made good forward drives.
But overall this was a poor showing by the Sharks. It is never acceptable to do the hard graft in the middle, and then fail to execute through panic, lack of composure and/or – worst of all – thinking you know it all, when you patently don’t. A few of the lads need to take a close look at themselves and the impact they are having on the rest of the team. It is not right to expect the same few lads to carry the load only to be let down by the same few who to be quite honest should know better.