Statistics, as we know, can be made to prove anything. But one of the more interesting numbers emerging from this match was the numeral 22.
This was the average age of the OA squad which travelled North last Saturday and that included the ages of those two players (soon for the dribbling academy!) who each scored no less than 34 on the time elapsed scale. No less than eight of those who took the field were 20 or less and Head Coach Dan George expressed his pride in his young squad who have mostly signed up for another League campaign next year.
Nothing should deflect admiration from the work ethic of these young men who gave it their all when more than half the usually available squad are out injured.
Two points bear mention particularly: Albanians, who again suffered a lax start, were in front 13-14 at half time and their tight play bore no resemblance to the less effective efforts which have been seen of late. “We have been used to being overpowered in the set piece at times” said George “And perhaps we now need a little time to get used to the happy feeling of being certain of our own ball and putting pressure on opponents at scrum and lineout. It will be wonderful when forwards and backs have that much trust in each other!”
Harry Samuel was on hand to power over for OAs first try of the afternoon after 24 minutes and Dan Watt crossed just before the interval, both efforts improved by Greg Lound. Lions had a converted try and two penalties in the bag at changeover and followed this with three more tries, two conversions and a penalty as their opponents tired.