By Dan Henderson, Director of Rugby
On the day of our first home game on our stunning and well-prepared Drummoyne Oval, we were faced with a very well prepared Colleagues club, which – once again – had strong numbers across every grade and some in reserve.
It proved a tough day at the office for our players, coaches and great supporters as Colleagues ran in a clean sweep.
Some slick and well-drilled backline play from Colleagues’ quick men in particular led to similar results for our 3rd & 4th grade sides. Coach Ross Cambourn and Kerry Farley were still positive about some of the structure – and returning players – they saw though.
The day showed distinct signs of improving when our Dirty Red Colts put together our Club’s game plan and delivered a commanding performance that deserved a 3-0 win. It wasn’t meant to be though as former DDs Colt, Jack Murphy, crossed for Colleagues in the corner on the stroke of full-time. This was a very disappointing result in no small part because it appeared to me – and many other onlookers – as though Murph had crossed with a foot in touch … right under the nose of Colleagues’-appointed linesman.
Some stand-out performances in this battle showed just how far this Colts team has already come and could achieve if they continue with confidence and the desire to improve through training.
2nd Grade put in a great showing with lost opportunities and untimely mistakes letting them down. If they’re committed to learning from these mistakes they could easily get on a role.
1st Grade showed absolute dominance in the scrum and at the ruck, only to let themselves down with poor ball handling and defence as the visitors played the exact game-plan we intended to play.
Understanding the opposition set-up, catching and retaining the ball while straightening play and executing a game-plan – are some of the fundamental things required at 1st grade level and we struggled with all of these elements.
The fantastic team-play signs we all saw at times in the trials and worked hard on in the pre-season desperately need to compliment the current dominance and strength our forwards are showing at the set piece.
Competition-wide results in the first two rounds indicate it will be a closely fought season with several clubs in the mix, so we focus on building.
We all rest for ANZAC Day this weekend before Knox, Kentwell Cup runner’s up to Balmain in 2015, back at home on April 30.