Two Friendly Defeats - But lots to be positive about
By neil donnelly
Performance and Enjoyment much more important than results
Sunday saw Chipstead Academy travel to Old Ruts for a triangular fixture against OId Ruts - always one of our toughest opponents and Old Colfes who are a very strong Kentish outfit.
Although the results did not go Chipstead way the manner in which the players performed on the pitch was a huge positive and a testament to the hard work they have been putting in and to the philosophy that we as coaches are trying to instil in them.
I have always said that the most important thing about club rugby at this level is the enjoyment of the players and despite the two results all the players appeared to enjoy the rugby.
I love the fact that we have a number 8 playing in the back line and chipping and gathering himself out of our own 22 - I love the fact that they are confident enough to throw a pass half way across the pitch and risk the intercept - because it may just come off and be very special - I love the fact that they do a cross field kick from a penalty from our own try line rather than kicking to touch.
I heard a few moans and groans from the sideline when the players were trying some of these off-piste plays - I said to all after the match that these lads have a license to play how they want. When they play School Rugby they will be very restricted . When they go to play for a Senior Team or at University they will be very restricted. This may well be the final chance they get to play just for the pure fun of it - and we should not restrict that.
We still want them to play as a team and to defend well and to perform the set piece with skill and accuracy - but most importantly do it with a smile on the face.
We scored some very good trys - one a great piece of back play finished off with the speed and dazzling footwork of Matt Dyer - another a great set of forward drives almost the length of the pitch finished by Jack Shotton - Two totally different scores but both equally good and both came about by the players looking at what was in front of them and decided for themselves the best way forward.
I do not care if we win or lose - I care that the players enjoy themselves and so far this season we have had 44 players turn out for Chipstead Academy in matches - They seem to be enjoying themselves
A big thanks to Old Ruts Old Colfes and the referee- and to Peter H who no matter what he does cannot seem to retire his whistle and reffed the Ruts v Colfes game