Good morning all.
An enthralling game last Saturday against our rivals Beacon Hill, going down 18-14.
Notwithstanding the result, our boys played magnificently – it was an effort that as parents and players should all be proud of, and aspire to repeat. I was so pleased with the excitement from our supporters after the game – our Secretary’s husband said it was the best game of Under 9’s he’d seen – and it was clear that the toughness and bravery the lads demonstrated was recognised.
The first half was dominated by our boys. I think, barring their initial kick off and tap restart, Beacon Hill never made it into our half. Along with a couple of penalties and forcing some turnovers with jarring defence, we had weight of possession as well, so we probably should have been further ahead than 6-0 at the break. (Getting the boys to shift their thinking from one our runs to a wider, multi pass, ensemble game is my challenge at the moment.) Clearly our defence, chopping their runners down hard, caused alot of frustration for Beacon Hll, and I have to say our boys demonstrated a good degree of discipline in the face of some quite ‘catty’ behaviour from opponents who clearly don’t like to be tackled.
In hindsight the break was not our friend. A couple of early mishaps saw them score quickly and I sensed our boys dropped their heads a bit as the big BH runners started to build some momentum. I know a couple of our boys had played earlier games, but it’s a fact that making lots of tackles against big boys takes a physical toll, and this was evident in our defensive intensity. A late try to Luke Dunford to get us close was well deserved – he led by example all day and was the best player on the field.
As I mentioned we played bravely across the park and the team can and should take alot from that effort. The challenge will be to have that focus each week, and to take the overlaps when presented. We play Narrabeen this week who have also been a very competitive game for us, AWAY at 11.15am.
A final note on goal kicking – when we score I default to the boys who I (a) know from the past are good kickers and (b) see practicing successfully at training. Missing kicks in each game this year has been a frustration so I will be focusing on this skill after training each week for 15 minutes given the impact it can have. A ‘kick off’ which focuses on good technique will determine the kicking order for the game on Saturday, which I think is only fair.