On what turned out to be a bright and dry January morning City found themselves playing a friendly against a well drilled Banbury squad. It would be fair to say that City were not at the races for the first of the three 20 minute periods, whether it was a case of too much Christmas food or still thinking it was time to hand out presents to the opposition I’m not sure we will never know. What was for certain was City missed multiple tackles and presented Banbury with four unanswered tries.
Both teams made changes for the second period and City appeared to wake up, putting in some good tackles and starting to compete effectively at the break down. Despite some hard work from George, Franco, Bailey and Harry in the forwards and good tackling from Tom, Dan and Alex in the backs, Banbury scored two further unanswered tires.
With Banbury introducing some of their development players and City making some positional changes the game become more even. In the set scrum City really started to get the upper hand and began wining good ball which was driven on by Darrius and Jordan to great effect, with pop passes taken on by Bailey and Harry. Some good hands in the backs and strong running resulted in Alex scoring two tries. Banbury responded with a score of their own before a period of pressure ended in Eddie scoring from close range.
Overall it was not the best of performances from City, although there were some strong individual contributions and positive signs after the team had ‘woken up’. The ability to control the ball in the forwards and drive down field with rolling mauls and well cleared out rucks was good to see. When the ball was won and distributed quickly the backs were able to move it wide and make good ground which is also positive for the future.
Out thanks to Banbury for there warm welcome and friendly hospitality.