White 0 v 46 (7T) Green
I was looking forward to what I expected to be a close match even though Green remain unbeaten this season. White had played some good rugby when I was there previously in January, albeit with some help from a few first team players. As you can see from the score it was a very one-sided affair. White played with little structure and made poor use of possession. Green, despite having no replacement players, played a solid game and had backs who completely outclassed the White defence.
The weather was excellent. The pitch was in good condition for this late in the season.
This was obviously an important game for me after the frustrations of the game last week. I let myself down and had something to prove.
I still didn’t feel I was back to my best, but this was a huge improvement on last week. I felt far more on top of the game, aware of what was happening and how to respond, and came off feeling I had done a good job.
One thing I am becoming far more aware of is that I am constantly monitoring my performance as the game progresses, with particular focus on the negative. This isn’t good since it has the effect of reducing my confidence as the game progresses. I need to think about a more positive ‘voice’ throughout the match, rather than kicking myself for the odd mistake. This approach must come across to the players to some extent – I certainly must appear and interact differently with them than someone who was thinking far more positively throughout the match. One to think about.
Targets agreed ahead of the game
Following on from my last assessment:
- Breakdown – get there early (be the third man to arrive!)
- Breakdown – positioning to get best view of ball, players and defence.
- Breakdown – tackler release, tackler away, ball available, watch arriving players.
- Lineout – don’t ball watch
- Call and signal advantage (and advantage over)
- Use shirt colour (and number if possible) when communicating
- Have zero instances where my lack of clarity with signals at penalty or free kick confuses players
I wonder if I’ll ever be satisfied with this aspect of the game? I am never convinced that I am on top of things for the whole match. Things started very well. The teams were disciplined. I made some early interventions to set a good standard. Players were clearly responding to my instructions. And I didn’t find myself thinking “What on earth am I doing stood in this position, and how did I even get here?”.
Being more specific:
- I arrived nice and early in the majority of cases.
- Positioning was far better. Still room for some improvement in some cases where I got a bit sucked in, but most of the time I had a good view and could monitor for offside at the same time.
- I felt more in control of the patterns of play and what to watch for (tackler, ball, arriving players).
- I’m still not 100% confident I am making good decisions all the time, but this may have as much to do with mouthy players than my decisions to be honest.
- Yet again though, as players became more tired, discipline fell away and we were back into wrestling. I could have used ‘unplayable’ more and earlier. At the same time I think I could have let some play continue despite the chaos in front of me. This is all about judgement, and it is still developing for me.
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Satisfied with my performance here. Positioning feels far more natural now.
This was a bit odd for most of the match because Green decided to stick to a very mobile 3-man lineout for the entire match. I ended up pinging their prop for straying into the 5m which I have never had to do before. Pleased that I remembered Ask-Tell-Penalise on this one too.
But I completely missed A-T-P on early lifting. I spotted it quite early in the match and found myself hesitating to say anything. Then I moved straight to a FK. The penalised players were confused and not impressed. This was not “EXPECTED” and I could have managed it better.
Signals and Communication
Miles better. Much, much clearer on the penalty and I’m now finding more time to think about whistle tone. I’m getting there!
Disappointed that in the last 10 minutes. My signals were less clear and in one case completely absent at a penalty. Players were immediately confused. I just lost focus and, to be honest, was very tired by the end of the game. But still a good improvement. Also, consistent use of team colour and number when possible was better.
Application of the Laws
Remembered to give scrum option when ball kicked dead through in goal. Remembered to give penalty from the point ball landed when kicker was impeded.
Management of Players
This was almost guaranteed to be better than last week. Overall this was a positive aspect of the game. The White 7 was a pain and I managed him well alongside the Captain. Both teams were very respectful.
I realise that I could be even more assertive and need to think about body language again. Too many times, especially when I am not 100% sure of myself I break eye contact with players – a massive clue that I may have some doubt. This will come with work and as I gain experience.
Glad I got back out. Far better performance from me and feel I am moving forward again. Breakdown still a focus. Player management also a focus area. Communication was better but still needs work. I need to get a positive mindset all the way through the match.