Sunday we welcomed a strong and skilled Kingsbridge team who gave us one heck of a game and what a game it was, we had an answer to everything they had, Mauls, hello where did this come from?
I counted 3 well worked mauls from us, kept control and gained meters with each one.
Our defence was strong, communication top draw as was our tackling each one of you putting in the hits , Rucks No contest, the rucks were owned by Tully and Nate .
In attack some great runs of all,
Tay, Jayden, Frankie , Wilf all putting in some great breaks, big Joe RL who was targeted by the twins who put some awesome hits on him, never stopped, moaned or took a step back, Solid Joe.
Jacob Amohia, Busy all day making great decisions and keeping us on the front foot.
Nate, just fabulous .
I never fail to enjoy watching Finley Fraser with the ball in open play, a nightmare to any defence, and with great hands from you all he found the the space to cause havoc and scored a number of tries one of which had to be the try of the morning craving his way past most of the KB team a close run thing with the try from tully who with some determined running and a one man maul "which is not a maul"went over to score pushing most of there team in front of him.
Well done to you all, the best team play this season.
Went home with Jayden who played a great game and is growing in confidence every week.
Frankie Forde again getting better every week, I still think there is a lot more to come from you Frankie and I can't wait to see it, well played.
Finley" pocket rocket " Fraser.
I love watching you in open play when a defence is been pushed and quick hands get the ball to you and then we get to sit back and watch as you cut there defence to bits, great fun if your on our team.
One last mention to Graham Fraser.
Who each week is the best ref of any team we play, Solid in his decisions, a book of knowledge for all our coaches and other teams, great communication with the players keeping the game alive, and totally fair to both teams.
His reffing" if that's a real word" has been commented on by coaches and parents from visiting teams for the last few weeks we are very lucky to have him.
Teignmouth away this Sunday 10am meet,
The last game before the Christmas break, Best rugby pants on, let's finish on a high and build on the play of the last few weeks.
Match report from Dave......
Kingsbridge always put up a big challenge when we play them and this week at home was no exception.
They left with a 2-0 win, but it was a close game that could have gone either way and it was not without a fight from Topsham.
They arrived and meant business from the start, demonstrating probably the best tackling display from an entire team that we have encountered so far this year.
Every single one of their players was committed to the tackle and were quick back up on their feet into defence, which made it very hard for Topsham to break through their line.
However, whilst we were struggling to break through and score tries, so were they.
For most of the game, our defensive line matched theirs.
Two very small errors led to a break in our line which let them in to score their only two tries of the match.
Until that point, our defensive line was magnificent - completely unified, moving up, back and sideways as one.
There was however one big difference between two teams and that was rucking and counter rucking.
Kingsbridge won almost all of their own ball at the breakdown, as they would hope to do, but they also stole almost half of ours!
Some magnificent mauling and ripping was then necessary to get the ball back.
We did this superbly on numerous occasions but it was totally needless had we simply protected and kept our own ball.
It was the pure speed of arrival of their players into the breakdown to step over the ball that made the difference.
Arriving slightly ahead of us gave them the vital metre or so of ground and make it hard for us to push them back when we arrived to challenge them.
Before we knew it, they had stolen our ball and off they went from defence into attack.
I think I have worked out why we have been slower into the rucks this year against Torquay, Sidmouth and Kingsbridge and it probably comes from previous advice the coaches have given you, which has possibly been misunderstood.
For the last three years we have told you 'not to chase the ball' which you are now very good at doing.
This is one of the reasons our defensive line this week was so good - we were keeping the correct distance apart and staying as one solid unit.
However, in attack this week, our players were slow to go into the breakdown and get the ball, with Kingsbridge usually arriving first.
And in defence, the closest players to the breakdown were just maintaining their positions in the line and were not moving in to try and steal the ball.
Whilst 'not chasing the ball' is what we have been teaching you to help you maintain your defensive line, it is important to realise that the ball will not make its way out of a breakdown on its own. If we just stand and watch, then the opposition will steal it from us,
The nearest players to a breakdown SHOULD CHASE THE BALL and move in swiftly, whilst the rest of the defence move inwards and maintain a line.
You all watched the brilliant defence video I sent you a couple of weeks ago of Wales v Ireland in last years 6 Nations.
Watching you boys defend last weekend was like watching that 6 Nations game all over. Absolutely brilliant.
What I want you to watch this week is a fantastic clip of the All Blacks playing Ireland.
At about the 25 second point into the video you will see what I mean about going in at the breakdown.
The All Blacks are outstanding and there is absolutely no way that Ireland are going to steal their ball.
It is theirs and they are going to keep it !!!
Watch it a few times over and get the feel for what you need to be doing at the breakdown.
The quicker you get in, the quicker you will secure that ball.
Click on the,link below or copy and paste it into the You Tube browser and enjoy.
Well done again on a truly spirited performance last week.
It was a match that could have gone either way.
See you all next Sunday with breakdown and rucking heads on.