SBs welcome Supermarine
By Martyn Boyes
Width wins the day
A great turnout and a good performance yesterday.
Because we had so many backs, Llewellyn had the unenviable task of organising a lot of rolling substitutions. This meant that there might have been a danger that things could have got a little disjointed.
However the boys worked well together, whatever the combinations and even with all the changes we kept our shape relatively well. A little bit more talking to each other would help to organise a stronger defensive line but this is something Martyn and Llewellyn can work on in training.
The opposition had a good opening 5 minutes when they retained the ball well and I thought that we would be spending the morning living off scraps. Even though Supermarine retained possession during this spell, they didn’t make ground due to our resolute defence. When we did eventually turn the ball over, quick thinking and quick hands resulted in a well worked try against the run of play.
For the rest of the game we had our fair share of possession with our forwards competing really well. We used our ball much better than Supermarine which was reflected in the score line at the end of the game – not that I know what the score line was!
Supermarine were a well drilled side, who tended to play a narrow forward dominated game with a lot of pick and go. They made little headway due to a great defensive effort, especially from our forwards who drove them backwards on numerous occasions and displayed some great counter rucking.
By contrast, when we had possession we played our usual expansive game which resulted in most of our tries being scored out wide.
The midfield still need to practice running straight, drawing players and pass to supporting runners rather than using up space by running sideways. We should also seek to keep the ball alive and look for support and avoid contact thus depriving the opposition of any opportunities to turn the ball over.
When we are playing in dry conditions as we experienced yesterday, we need to take advantage and play our simple brand of rugby - stretching the opposition by moving the ball quickly across the park and use our natural ball playing abilities and speed to play an attractive brand of rugby and keep the supporters entertained.
As winter sets in and the grounds become wetter and muddier, we will need to have a plan B. When conditions dictate that expansive running rugby becomes difficult, we may be forced to play a narrower game with our forwards will take the lead, working hard to protect the ball with more pick and go and keeping play closer to the breakdown.