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28 Feb 2022

Dings Crusaders 46 Old Albanian 41

Lets get the grumpy stuff out of the way first.

Too often Albanians approach a situation in a game with a certain amount of nonchallance. Effort is always there in plenty but the application to the breakdown, the defense reallignment or support in a possible half break, indeed perceiving a potential state of disarray in an opposition line may occassionally go awry. That’s all it takes to come up short on the scoreboard, negating the prodigious endeavour displayed during the rest of the contest.

From this distance it’s easy to suggest a cure, if indeed a cure is needed; but too often this season matches have been lost by tiny errors which may well not have occurred if a modicum of care had been employed in execution. The frustrations of a hapless spectator are as nothing compared to the jaw-grinding, self-directed rage shared by the players involved and experience has shown everyone that this squad, working smart as well as hard, is capable of great moments and thus great days!

In a nutshell, so it was last Saturday.

Now the good bits! Tight play was a revellation. Short of first choice personnel, but including a hooker with a shoulder injury, (who shared the turmoil of the front row with the Head Coach!) suffice it to say the boys at the coal face dished out such punishment as to exact a strike against the head from bigger opponents and to snaffle at least two Crusaders lineout throws whilst maintaining inviolate their own putins(?) or throws. A forward (especially an ancient one!) will always smile at such a thought!

On the scoring front the Dings line was breached seven times, forwards and backs contributing as the opportunity arose and two league points were added to the annual total leaving OAs in tenth place, safely in the middle of this most competitive of tables.

Things happened so fast last Saturday analysis should be left to the purist or team statistician. Albanians came up just short in a hugely entertaining performance which also bodes well for the future. With a tiny bit more care (and a pinch of luck!) may it continue thus.

Brian Quinn,


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