LSH masterclass shows why they top the group
Some 2nd half solace as Burn charge back
Just a few short months ago, a friendly encounter with LSH gave us plenty to think about as we started the season. A bounce of the ball, a tighter tackle leading to a knock on was all that was in it in a great game from which we went away and honed our skills and strategies. In the intervening months we have lost a couple of cup games, won a few, and have developed well as a unit. LSH, on the other hand, seem to have used our game as a catalyst for much greater things, have dominated our group, physically mushroomed and have taken us to the cleaners today.
In fairness, a few people said that today's side was not the same lads we saw in September, and speaking to the LSH coach, a connection with a local top class RL school is paying big dividends. As most of our boys come from "emerging schools" where little or no rugby is played, to try to compete against lads who train in one rugby code or another every other day is a daunting task. Physically there were not too many matches, Toby, Arthur, Jacob and Jayden being the exception, while LSH boasted units in every position, and a good few more on the bench as well. No surprise then when their massoove 10 trundled through a loose tackle for their first try, in fairness after a great spell of attack from our boys, that the stage was set and the pattern for the day was formed. Our skin was regularly saved and then cooked by a referee keen to tightly curtail any perceived high tackle, but the line speed and aggression of LSH saw us continually on our behinds, then quick thinking, tapped penalties and wide passes down a very effective back line saw us soon at the end of a 30 - 0 drubbing.
Game won and lost on 25 mins, the LSH coaches made a series of tactical substitutions, and in the ensuing confusion, Jayden started our comeback with a great crash ball under their sticks. The second half saw a spirited come back and display of sorts from our guys, with Jacob (2) Lewis, doing a fine job at 8, as Tobi tried his hand at centre. This saw us briefly lead the way in the second half, before LSH regrouped and that big 10 found acres of space right down the middle of the pitch. As always, our lads never gave up for a second, with Arthur and Jacob doing manfully in chasing down the wing play and forcing LSH boys into touch. Our scrum and lIneout were generally solid, kudos, against an aggressive and bigger set of forwards, so something to focus on there, but not for the first time this season, accuracy in the simple passes, either dropping short of the intended receiver, flying way over the head of the man or just over elaborate fancy Dan faeces passes left us with too much to do as the opposition came steaming in.
So there we have it, a wise man once told me there are two ways to legally cheat in Rugby, the Maul, where the offside law gets chucked out the window, and by being physically fitter then your opposition! Today we were 2nd place, and I genuinely hope the LSH lads are true to their word and finish this season with RU before decamping to RL, their coaches and club deserve a day in the sunshine. We pick ourselves up, dust down and look forward to a rematch with Rossendale or Rochdale at our plate/vase level, focus on the positives and learn from the negatives. Training on Wednesday and Sunday next for those who can make it, proud as can be of each and every one of you!!!