By Dan Henderson, Director of Rugby
A good old fashioned local derby that produced pleasing signs across the board, but was not without its disappointments and drama.
Firstly to the boys that sustained injuries – our support and best wishes for your quick recoveries. Also, a special thanks to all who showed care and concern from both clubs to ensure the players safety was at the forefront of all decisions.
After the pre-season trials which produced key areas for all coaches to focus/work on, and signs of how much we had advanced across a number of areas in game shape, the expectations were high on how we could really kick the season off as a club.
Our day began slowly as our 3rd and 4th grade teams were met by Pat’s players who looked to have trained and played together regularly, and potentially over many years, showing up our social players, who with a little time together could easily turn the season around, as there is talent to burn and several players capable to playing up the grades!
The real chance to build from trials was first indicated by a polished and effective Colts side, who worked their game shape and tactical play from the outset, with a commanding win over a determined Pat’s colts outfit who showed definite improvement from the week earlier, and were a successful squad having supposedly played together the last couple of years.
Following Colts was a strengthened 2nds team, who worked hard to find their shape and recognise their chances to attack, in a thrilling come-from-behind win on the 80 min mark. Building a strong 2nd grade will show dividends as the season progresses, and with many of the combinations being new, the signs are building great competition for spots in 1st grade. A product of hard work in the pre-season – building to get the win.
Unfortunately, this was not the case for our club leaders in first grade who failed to ‘Click’ and turn well worked shape, set piece and tactics into points. With several tries gone begging at the last pass, this team quickly recognised that our dominance wasn’t going to win the game without points on the board. St Pat’s first sniff put the Dirty Reds on the back foot, and we began to play catch-up, as the hungry Pat’s smelled blood and an unlikely win….
The signs are however very exciting, and we look forward to seeing this team hit their stride!
Recognise what’s in front of us. Execute – Retain or Regain.