A day for getting the basics right
Good overall team performance
Written by: Richard Staniforth
Checked by: Gaz Morgan
Against a Mansfield side that is still relatively inexperienced, in the words of their coach earlier in the week, we aimed to use the game to very much practice a lot of our basics – scrumming, rucking, tackling and passing
The message given to the boys before they went out, was that their performance in this game in doing these basics well would be the major factor considered in selection for the next two games before Christmas
The first 5 mins and the boys scrummed and rucked well and started to show dominance in these areas. A number of times the ball went through the hands allowing both wingers Casper and Josh the opportunity to open their legs. Mansfield though countered these with some good defence.
Eventually after a period of pressure following a few successive quick pick and go penalties, after Mansfield repeatedly failed to retreat 10 meters, the ball was moved through the back line, and Tom T, coming in from full back, completed a clever loop move to score in the corner.
Further good forward play, with some great pick and goes from Jake B and Harvey, followed by some good ball movement by the backs nearly see both Josh and William B score in each corner. Again though some good defensive play keeps them out.
William S at scrum half starts to make a few breaks. After one blind side break he produces a lovely inside pass to the supporting Jacob, who puts in a good run only to be brought down well.
Mansfield start to put some moves together but some good tackling in the center by William B stops them getting any real momentum going.
Eventually just before the end of the third, Joe D successfully wins one against the head and William S picks up and goes down the blind side and his pace allows him to score in the corner.
2-0 at the break
All the remaining match day squad members are rotated into the game after the break and continue with the good rucking and tackling.
George makes a good run but is brought down well by Mansfield. After last week’s lack of support for George when he makes a break , it was great to see Toby close in support and take a lovely pop pass from George as the tackle is made.
Another scrum was then won against the head and George sets off on another trademark run. Again an offload is made and after three more passes Toby is put in at the corner
At a scrum on our own 22, Toby, on the blind side wing, calls for the ball from scrum half Benny and he shows great pace along the touch line, to outpace all and score a long distance try.
The forwards continue to play well and show us that they are executing the basics a lot better. More pick and goes from the ruck are well executed and put Mansfield on the back foot
A number of penalties are conceded, but again the team are showing they are learning from what has gone wrong in recent games, by retreating 10 meters and facing the attack quickly
The final play of the third sees, once again, some good hands by the backs and Ben T finishes off the move well to score
5- 0 at the break
From the kick off we drop the ball and which is then played by a player in an offside position. From the resulting penalty one of Mansfield’s stronger runners manages to break through four tackles and deservedly scores.
This was one of the few moments in the game when our tackling deserted us and we were appropriately punished.
Quick ball was then delivered from a scrum and the ball was simply played down the back line for Tom T to score his second in the corner
Matthew, at fly half, then takes another quick ball on the half way line, sees a gap and makes a great break to score untouched.
Mansfield now start to tire and two more simple passing moves see both Ben T and Tom T finishing moves off.
Final score 9-1
Overall the game was a great success in getting our basics right for a lot of the time and the boys will hopefully take this forward to the next games, knowing that if they do these simple things well it brings its rewards.
This squad is starting to gel together well and it was great to see some of this week’s non playing members come down and support the match day squad