The CC game v Dings Crusaders earlier today really put the pups to the sword.
In a match that promised much, it delivered very little in the way of a result and a performance.
It could have been all so different if early scoring chances hadn’t been squandered – with a couple of 5mtr line-outs being butchered and a short of the line drive wasted, which normally are bread and butter any other time. If we’d capitalised early on then it could have been a different story as even after letting in a couple of soft tries we still had lots of possession and attacking yardage.
Then came the madness from team indiscipline that undid us. With penalty after penalty giving the opposition un-earned ball, and yet every time we won it back, the refs arm went up and we were retreating ten again, and again.
From these plays we started ball-watching, and our shape and defence went south. Three, four and even 5 man overlaps were starting to define a poor defensive show that we didn’t seem to want to correct.
Infact, I can’t remember when we last gave the opposition this much room, with space galore, tries started going in left right and centre.
The drop outs, however were greatly contested with either Blessing, Leo, Charlie or Toby coming away with the ball. However, unusually poor contact technique often made stripping our normally safe players easy with turnovers aplenty. It was like a stuck record – just as we got momentum we gave the ball away.
Still the boys defended well in the tight and Adam, Tank, and Noah were tackling fantastically and clearing out rucks like their lives depended on it.
Growler, Budge, Harvey, Aiden and Keane all had snipe attempts thwarted and it was becoming apparent that this ‘newly formed’ team were no slouches. They had great defence and speed, but in attack they ran straight, shipped the ball out, and supported which inevitably meant tries. Credit to their coaches who later told us they had formed this season from Cleve and Frampton Cotterel and it was all becoming apparent these cherry picked players were possibly one of the best teams the pups had faced in a long time.
With injuries galore, before, during (and after … get well soon Skip) we had players out of position and changing throughout the match constantly.
Losing Keane late on meant that another re-shuffle was called for and Joe, who had been closed down tight at 12, then moved to 10 and Growler left the warmth of the forwards to end up at centre with Aiden (and then Joe again..). Although we pressed again, the aforementioned lads had good darting runs, but this Bristol lot weren’t giving much away and their jackling was fantastic; with NOT GETTING ISOLATED a key item to be worked on this Thursday.
Our consolation came in a line clearance kick which bounced high and Joe was there with a leap and 65metre charge to score a good solo try. Other notable positives were Harry, JoelF, Fred (injured 1st half) all played decently as did Leo Daubs, Jaden & ‘yo-yo’ new man Luca who was on and off more times than we could count… but he got to play his favoured 9 eventually (and didn’t disgrace himself ), with Harvey slotting in nicely at back row (because he plays like one!).
But, alas there was no stopping this Bristol team as they were just too good (…today)
Onwards and upwards –
Today the lamppost.
Tomorrow the dog!
Sarries 10 – 34 Dings