Following on from the Redruth performance the Hartbury trip saw us playout a very dour affair spoiled by a persistant referees whistle, indiscipline of sorts and a lack of fluency on our part.
Its been frustrating that following both comprehensive home wins recently we have been unable to field anywhere near the same team the week after. I think there was five changes this week and six the week after Clifton. This might explain the lack of fluency I spoke about earlier.
With regard to our discipline, it hasn't been good enough by any means this year and we need to improve. We conceded two tries last week when they had an advantage of fourteen to our thirteen and only ever had fifteen aginst fourteen in our favour ( they had a red) for 15 mins or so last week.
Looking at Saturdays yellow cards though the officals decisions were frustrating to say the least. Dan Johnson got a yellow card for a technical offence on the half way line, Todd Bailey for something similar with us in possession in our own half. Sam Arnott for reacting by pushing someone who punched him.
I have serious reservations for sending someone from the field of play for these offences which led to what was an unenjoyable afternoon for both teams. Speaking to their director of rugby after he was also deflated by the decisions.
Moving on we have to improve and look at ourselves, it is something to work on for next season.
With regard to the way we played we have to keep hold of the ball better in wet conditions in particular and when it is not dry under foot have to improve our contact skills.
With regards to selection, what I know is to send the team out on a Friday as opposed to a Thursday before training. I'm a big believer in every session counting and don't want players going through the motions knowing they are playing on Saturday and relaxing or switching off on a Thursday night.
Alex Reed will probably be on the bench again. He was outstanding last week on his debut as was Sam Fombo. Tom Ashdon will play ten in place of Jack Jones who will start on the bench. I really hope the new lads and the return of Billings, Barker and Driver will give us a real freshness leading into our last league game.
Westcombe Park mathematically can still stay up, their recent form is outstanding and on most forums they are tipped to beat us this weekend. They will have large support and this is what its about for me.
Something on the line, a challenge! Winning there on Saturday will be a great acheivement and one I'm confident we can acheive. Your support would be fantastic. Its only an hour away and would welcome some familar faces in what should be a big crowd.
Looking to next this season couldnt have gone much better. Mark Billings signed for us last night, Sonny Gay signed Tuesday and is a massive player for us. Craig Strachan has signed from Westcliff to replace Todd Bailey. I have a couple of SeeVic students to add to the ranks and also an outstanding young seven from Coopers Coborn School that should be tied up this week. The predicted Southend mass exodous hasn't happened and we will be stronger by far next year.
The Essex Cup Final game against Barking will be confirmed today and am delighted to announce its at home!!
Get yourselves to Westcombe tommorow and against Barking at home next week.
Your support is needed and very much appreciated.