Shooters H v OE Development
Thankfully the weather was a lot kinder to us this Sunday, although a heavy storm at 8:30 put some off their rugby, the sun was out and we were ready to go with the sun shining by 10.
The coaches emphasised to the team before the game how important it was to tackle low, especially as half their pack seemed to be over 6ft tall!
However, despite this doing a tackle drill before K.O. their tall rampaging forwards were causing us problems with too many going high and being brushed off like flies! Almost men against boys… Hats off to the opposition if we had had that armoury we would have used it as well, as one of their back row stormed through for the 1st try. The warning was heeded through next time they tried it their no 8, was tackled ferociously by Harry who put man and ball into touch.
Gradually, the lads remembered that we had our own secret weapons, the scrum providing a solid base for the attacking unit behind them. Josh was punching holes in their defensive line time and time again. It was from one of these attacks that the ball was passed along the line for James Nightingale to run in our first try in the corner. It always takes times for a team to gain confidence but as coaches we could see this happening literally before our eyes.
The next couple of minutes saw us gain a penalty and Cameron making a great touch to put us 5m from their line. The line out wasn’t clean but the pack and Jack were involved in the pushover for the try, which thankfully Josh noticed from the line and as the ball came our way, he just took it and dived over the line.
The sun was getting brighter and our play ever more expansive and yet again the ball went out to James Nightingale to finish excellently rounding two defenders in the process.
The idea of our development game it to allow us to change players around in various positions and obviously give everyone a good run out. So we started the second half 21-12 and with a few changes in position.
The team started well with the ball going smoothly along from Jack and Cameron, gradually allowing more room for Evan to exploit more and more gaps in the Shoots defences, scoring two defence splitting tries from the 22 metre line.
Nico was having a run out at the flanker role and was enjoying some of the freedom that the position allows. He found himself with the backs as the ball came from a ruck and used his sidestep to get over in the corner.
Throughout the second half the pack had been much more of a unit at the breakdown. This enabled us to retrain and use our own ball much better. At the set piece the pack was consistent throughout the match which considering how inexperienced they are as a unit shows how far they have come, with Renus relishing the dark arts of the front row. It was from one such set piece about 10 metres out that James made a break, onto Nico who popped it to Cameron to get over the line.
All in all it was a very solid game by OE’s against a very forceful Shoots side and all played in the correct spirit and both sides have improved since last year. Many thanks for their hospitality and hopefully we will be able to host Larry and his team back before the season ends.
Final Score 43-19