Herts Middx League
Under 18 As
A beautiful autumn morning pitch 6 in fine condition, OA U18 play host to Wasps U18 in OA’s second league encounter of the season. Dave the Phizz on strapping and KT tape. Thanks again Dave. A good warm up, into team runs, we welcome Issak Nathan U17 into the team to cover fullback.
Back to the changing rooms match shirts on. We discuss, it’s a different proposition to two weeks ago. We have fine conditions and a physically bigger team to cope with. Non-negotiables our physicality, we had to stop the big Wasp boys from gathering momentum. We had to own space quickly, both in attack and defence. We were the established Div1 team. Wasps being newly promoted, might not be tuned to the intensity and pace of a Div1 match, we had to use this to our advantage. All different to our Hertford Game but what do clever rugby players do? They adapt.
The match starts, we are on the front foot immediately. Looking hungry and determined. It pays off in minutes JJ pressing hard in defence perfectly reads an out the back pass and he’s on the interception. He’s in behind the defence and races to the line. James coverts his own try and we are 7-0 up with only a few mins off the clock.
Wasps restart and the physicality is intense. The tackling is ruthless, Hayden, DC and Olly Cash, each stepping up and making their presence felt. OA’s are mixing the game up well, runners on hard lines and good length wipers from JJ. We pressure Wasps deep in their 22, this time Max gets on the end of an ill timed pass, he intercepts but doesn’t quite get in behind the defence. Wasps scramble back and are awarded a penalty at ruck. They clear out, from ensuing line out we again give a penalty away at breakdown. Wasp kick us deep into our 22.
We need to improve our decision making at breakdown. At two successive breakdowns we have gone from deep in Wasps 22 to deep into our own 22.
We need to make better Judgements at Breakdown. When to stay on our feet and let them have the ball. We will work on this.
We soon regain our momentum, quick ball from good work by our forwards, a well worked move playing off 10, and Olly Hocking sprints through centres with hardly a hand laid on him, steps off is left foot and has the pace to get over the line, JJ just wide on the conversion.
The rest of the half OA’s are in control and mix the game up well. Wasps try to bring their big wingers into the game but often find themselves isolated. Our back row on hand, always over the ball. Zach being very influential in this department.
Our defence out wide was very assured. Tom, Marc, Issak and Martin in second half did a great job of containing a pacey back 3 for Wasps who were probably used to scoring multiple try’s per game in div2.
The second half finished with the best passage of rugby in the game, from good fast ball, we break right, great support and offloads, move finishes with James, back out to Olly Hocking, who goes over for his second try. JJ’s conversion from the right hand touchline cannons off the upright. 17-0
The best move of the game resulted in a rash of handbags from both sides. At this point we were in dominant form, we really should avoid motivating and energising the opposition if at all possible.
Second half, becomes more of an arm wrestle, having lost Zach in first half, we find it more difficult to disrupt Wasp’s possession. From a good break Max makes good territory, just short of the Wasp’s 22 we are awarded a Penalty, Jj keeps the scoreboard ticking over with a well taken kick. 20-0
Most pleasing aspect of the half was our very effective drive from the line out. We were unlucky not to score from a line out in the first half. When we drove in second half, the ball was fizzed wide, Marc passing out to Issak, on a great support run and he’s in for a try, in the left hand corner. JJ converts magnificently from the touch line. 27-0
The rest of the half is an ill tempered affair, we loose Max to injury and we pick up a yellow. Wasps now press a weakened OA’s and score in the final move of the game. 27-5
Many pleasing elements.
Non-: negotiables: excellent intensity in defence from start was top drawer
Catch and drive at line out, very effective, resulting in one try, could have been two.
Decision making at breakdown, closer support in attack. Let’s not give away penalties in their 22 contesting lost causes. Stay on feet and press. They are only going to kick it back to us for an attacking line out.
let’s not get involved in handbags,
It’s always a leveller.
It reduces our ability to play good rugby, while it motivates and energises the opposition.
Be aggressive, be brave, play with heart and passion. Don’t be distracted.
2 from 2, well done
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