Footscray travelled to Maidstone for their first away league fixture against Weavering - an unknown quantity to the club as a new joiner to the league. Last week saw Footscray perform well against a good Sittingbourne side, and the team started in the same vein, albeit with changes in personnel across the park - running through the phases and maintaining good possession. The interplay from forwards earning the right to go wide and the backs moving the ball well demonstrating the simplest game plan can still be effective. With dominance at the set piece, and disruptive defensive lineout, the platform for a good day on the pitch was set, with Footscray going ahead and getting to half time 17-10 up. Unfortunately the Footscray discipline was slipping - the penalty count robbed the team of possession time after time and the boys lacks the discipline to run the phases and avoid the unnecessary offloads. With a sniff of something in the game for them, Weavering were buoyed and their simple hit up plan started making yards. The ball was rarely shipped beyond the 10 - the fly half running or kicking nearly all ball. Footscray generally managed this well, but a few skipped tackles gave the home side yards, hope, and ultimately scores.
Footscray preserved their lead well into the final quarter, but the lack of possession arising from penalties - largely resulting from inadequate support play - suffocated the number of opportunities to capitalise. Weavering took the initiative and after a comedy error out wide they scored to level, and then Footscray failed to put down the elusive 15 and were suddenly 7 down. With the last minutes of the game possession changed hands repeatedly, until Weavering chose to give up territory for slow possession to kill the clock. Final score Weavering 34 v Footscray 27.
Footscray will reflect on a turnaround in form that was driven out of two types of indiscipline - penalties and sticking to the plan. Easily solved on the training paddock, and with the knowledge that the form of last week will be hard for opposition to resist. A week off, followed by a cup fixture and then a return to the league with Sheppey visiting SE9 make October an important month. As captain Kelvin reflected - that’s the one loss. There’ll be no more.
Hurrah the Club