The serious business of our first home game, and first cup match. The whole team was up for it, and there was good focus in the warm-up with reminders about the things we worked on in mid-week training i.e. rucking and securing the loose ball.
Straight from the kick-off we received the ball and saw some direct running up the middle; our rucking game was so much faster and more aggressive than last week and so we secured the ball nicely for the first few rucks. Cameron started in the number 10 slot and was vocal in organising the backs which helped us to hold our line in the first few exchanges.
With the ball in hand we made ground, and Jamie broke the line two or three times as we moved our way up the pitch. Josh was on fire today and seemed to be first tackler or first to the breakdown, adopting a powerful position to secure the ruck. Everyone did their part at the ruck during this game, with too many good turnovers to mention each one.
Mid-way through the first half we saw another good kick out of hand from Harry, and the chase from Isaac was on… until Ewan flew through with the afterburners on like a man possessed, and performed a textbook dive on the ball (massive cheer from the coaches) with Isaac in superb support to secure possession. The result? 50 metres of field position gained and the opposition on the back foot!
Before the game we talked about getting our speed up when running with the ball, and in the first half Tommy received the ball from Oscar and ran 10 metres full speed before getting absolutely nailed by a super tackle from a Tadley Tiger. His speed meant that he won the collision and kept going forward to the ground and when on the deck presented the ball for Zach to make a super-fast pass, the likes of which he churned out all game long.
The most dominant part of our game was in the scrum where we responded to a few strong early efforts from Tadley by winning several scrums against the head. The timing of the push was superb, called by Zach, and the teamwork by the forwards was perfect: take a bow Jamie, Harrison, George, Lewi, Harry, Callum, Charlie Haywood, Ewan, and Josh. Alex PG hopped in the scrum once too, and showed some real gas down the left wing in the second half.
Tackle of the week went to James for an absolute belter on our right side, taking man and flag out of the game (flag permanently retired!) – try-saving effort two weeks on the spin.
A really tight game which could easily have gone our way, with our try being scored by Jamie for the second week running.
Final Score: Ellingham & Ringwood 5 : 10 Tadley
Coaches’ Player: Josh Galton
Players’ Player: Zach Morrish