15 Apr Round 1 – U15 Gold v De La Salle – Lost 30-10
Start the game with a full tank of petrol, make 4 times more tackles than the opposition and we finish the game with the petrol light on, running on vapour, limping into the service station!
Give away late tackle penalties; don’t value the ball when we have it in attack, flirt with the touchline, and this all amounts to relentless tackling. This relentless tackling takes the wind out of our attacking sails. So when we finally get the ball we have nothing to offer.
There were some positives to come out of the game. We had plenty of tackling practice!
Big Sam, Kobey, Logan, Samson and all the forwards were very solid defensively in the middle, they had to be. Whilst our edge players did their fair share of defensive work. notably Lachie, Jack, Lawson and Flynn. Everyone had a dig. However in the coach’s mind, the stand out defender had to be Tanner Featherstone who was very brave, especially on our try line. This kid is playing up a year, he is one of the smallest in the side, but he earnt the respect of his peers by putting his body on the line on more than one occasion.
Ryan Haney was very safe at the back and diffused some serious bombing raids under immense opposition pressure. Dimi was very damaging in attack as he always is and was rewarded with a try from a Lachie Bird kick late in the first half to give us a sniff, going into the sheds 12-6 down at half-time. Any hope of a fightback was soon shattered with continual defending and eventually the defensive cracks appeared. They had to!
Continual defence leads to frustration, frustration and fatigue lead to poor decision making, a vicious cycle that can be hard to break. Whilst we rarely had the ball to show any attacking prowess, we never gave up; this was a big positive to take from round 1. This never say die, attitude, when the chips are down, undoubtedly builds character.
We were rewarded with a try late in the game when Sam managed to get a nice offload away to Kurt in support. Kurt took on the defensive line and was strong in getting over for his try.
If we understand that we need to maintain 50% of the possession to be competitive and win games, our future will be rosy. Anything less than 50% possession and it makes it extremely difficult to win. Tough but positive start gents.