Belter Pelter offers no shelter!
A worrying start to the day, already a first choice prop out we were dealt a double blow when Tom H. and Sam R. were unavailable through illness.
A quick shuffle of the pack and Jay W. a call away we set off with a desire to perform for those lads and play hard for their mates who were not there. Coundon had many club players and there was a concern that we may lack shape with those players missing. However Southam showed that their dedication to training and their ability to listen to objectives, resulted in a convincing win. The main objectives were to improve in the tackle and most importantly to latch on in the ruck to secure the ball.
The first try was a great piece of set play. A strong run by Callum M, ( one of several), and a good set ball, resulted in a perfect pass from Josh E to give a to Harry L. who ran in and finished one of his 4 scores! It was simple but the best play often is. Harry L. was not however just looking for the glory and put in a great shift in defence with tackles and rucks. Joe C. was also a star in the ruck and tackling – securing it when needed and when he had to getting the ball out to the backs where the spaces were. Unselfish play and a future backrow in the making – well done Joe – heart of the team. Jay W. is also learning the game and did not take a backwards step. He was persistent in getting around the park and stopped a giant in midfield.
Charlie S. was called into fly half and once he adjusted his defensive roll in this position was excellent. He ran in 3 Tries that showed power but also agility to evade the tackle as well. A great lesson – lads as long as you are moving forward avoid contact and keep your looks!
However you need to make the hard yards as well. You need a mentality and a natural instinct not to hesitate Ally M and George P exhibited this in spades- We need to keep that attitude and it needs to spread amongst all players. Ally M is made for Hooker and when we allowed contested hooks in the second half he disrupted the ball as well as continuing to hit rucks. This allowed Josh E to dominate his opposite man and prevent the Coundon runners to get going, as well as deliver quality ball for runners when we had it.
The big men Thomas W. and Tommy B. continued where Callum M. had started in the first half. They ran hard set rucks and linked with backs. Both boys deserve credit for this front foot rugby – they are two of the most improved players. Oli G. also let know one score on his wing keeping Coundon to 0 points. William M. equally was set the challenge to make more shoulder hits and he stopped several good runners in the Coundon backs line. Spencer B. made some great scrambling tackles in the first half in particular when Coundon pushed the line.
James E scored a great try in the second half where the ball was kept alive and he made space for himself with great jinking runs. He was able to both distribute the ball and dummy past his opposite man by keeping the ball in both hands. He learnt to give the pass and support whilst taking yards. well done for listening and learning. Both you and the team reaped the rewards. Much improved tackling was also noted in the second hald with 2 great tackles.
The Champaign moment was a great linking move where forwards, setting great ball for the midfield who moved the ball out wide for Jack M. to skin several players outside on the wing to score a great try. This was after jack had made a great tackle on a large Coundon Forward who had inadvertently jumped into him.
So for man of the match: It is hard when Harry and Charlie scored 7 tries not look beyond them. But look we will ….and we shall find George P. he did a great job at centre but it was more so securing great ball that allowed for fantastic link work and hard running outside. Hard graft and doing the right thing at the right time by George gave presentation for a quality pass and power runners to set up and score. He represented all the great things in the teams performance today. Well done fella! George can be seen with Tommy, Jack and Josh after the final whistle.
Final score Coundon 0 Southam 45.
‘work ons’ – moving the ball forward and passing before contact rather than shipping ball too late. This beagn to happen in the second half keep it going.