News & EventsLatest NewsCalendar
Coaches corner Chipstead A Festival

Coaches corner Chipstead A Festival

Chey Dupe21 Oct 2011 - 07:05
Share via

Coaches Corner – 16 October 2011

Under a cloudless (well almost) autumn sky at The Meads, today saw the Blues play in the Chipstead “A” festival. Our opponents for the day were London Irish, Effingham & Leatherhead, Old Beccs, Old Reigatians and Old Whitgiftians.

Watching the teams warming up it was obvious that the skill levels had increased and the boys had all grown since last year. Based on this we expected the matches to be competitive and physical and we weren’t to be disappointed!!

The squad for the day was Elliot, Finlay M., Luke, Lewis Brown, Lewis Bradford, Rory, Jack, Tom, Marcus, David, Euan, Oliver and Inigo.

The Matches

First up were Old Whitgiftians and whilst the opening exchanges were a little scrappy we were the team on top. Once we settled down we started to exert more pressure and we were rewarded with a couple of well worked tries by the end of the half. In the second have we extended the lead to 4-0 but then took our foot of the gas and we were left wondering whether not finishing them off would count against us at the end of the festival.

Next up were London Irish. This time the boys were fully focussed and played the type of rugby that this squad is all about. The forwards did a great job in winning quick ball and the backs showed that when you attacked spaces (instead of faces) and offloaded the ball to the man in space that tries will follow. Our defence was again solid and once again our line was not crossed and for that matter never really looked like being. When the final whistle blew we had a well deserved 7-0 victory.

Our third match was against Old Reigatians who had played some good rugby in their first couple of games. Once again our defence dominated which allowed us to turn the ball over and break quickly in attack. When we attacked it was great to see the ball being moved through the hands and there were a number of well worked team tries. By the end of the game our try line still hadn’t been breached and we had crossed the line five times.

So with 3 games down we had 3 wins, had scored 16 tries and conceded none.

We were now getting to the business end of the festival and next up were Effingham and Leatherhead. As expected this was an extremely physical game with neither side wanting to give an inch. For the first time on the day our line was crossed but we came back with 2 tries of our own. With the seconds counting down the ball broke free and E&F headed for the corner with 3 Chipstead players desperately trying to get across to cover. Despite this close attention E&F managed to get over the line to square the game up.

So with 4 games down we were still unbeaten and we new that a win against Old Beccs would guarantee us top spot.

Watching Old Beccs in previous matches we new they had big forwards but also that they weren’t that mobile, so we wanted to run them around the pitch. The opening exchanges were what can only be described as brutal and the intensity of the tackling from both sides was frightening (especially for the mums watching!!).

Despite talking about moving the ball away from the contact area in the heat of the battle we tried to take them on head on. The first half ended scoreless and the second half was heading that way until Beccs pounce on a loose ball and broke away. This time the covering tackles came in but the try was scored in the corner (if there’d been a TMO it may have been a different outcome).

Knowing we need to score 2 tries to win the boys went back at them and we had our chances but Beccs are a well drilled outfit and managed to hold us out. So it was that the game ended 1-0 to Beccs.

The Final Results

Old Beccs won the festival winning all their games, scoring 14 tries and conceding none. A great effort from a very good team.

The runners up spot was between us and E&F who had the same results as us, won 3, drew 1, lost 1. So it was down to try difference, they had scored 17 and conceded 3 but we had scored 18 conceded 3, meaning that we had taken the runners up spot.

Whilst it’s not what we wanted the whole squad (and we mean the squad because everyone was involved and played their part today) should be proud of what they achieved. Ultimately you only lost to the winners and that was by one try and you ended up with a better try differential!!

Summary of the day

Every one of you should be immensely proud of the way you played today!! You were up against 2 of the best teams around in Old Beccs (2010 Kent Champions) and E&F and the other 3 were no push overs, so you should be holding your heads up high.

As coaches we can’t express enough how proud we are of the effort and commitment you put in. Whether it was in attack or defence you put your bodies on the line and we know a number of you have the bruises, cuts and stud marks to attest to this.

Yes there are things we need to work on but in truth it’s fine tuning and we’ll talk about this over the next couple of weeks. I know Anthony will be dissecting the video footage of the games for us and apparently is going to put some stats together!!

As coaches we’d also like to thank all the parents for their support today as without it it’s much more difficult for us. Finally a big thank you to Peter for refereeing not only the Chipstead allocation of matches but also E&F’s.

Simon, Mark, Paul, John, Anthony, Peter and not forgetting Simeon (who’s going to get his tracksuit out and his boots on!!)

Further reading