Match Report – 23rd October 2016

Red 13 – 32 Gold
Weather Fair. Pitch in good condition.

The Match

A definite game of two halves. Gold dominated the first half (playing downhill) and were 3-25 ahead by half time. The majority of play was with the forwards, neither team managing to make much use of the backs. The game was quite heated with a number of minor scuffles. There was also a very lengthy delay in the first half when a player was quite seriously injured and was eventually taken (by car)) to A&E.

My Agreed targets for Improvement

  1. Focus and work hard in the first 15 minutes to set clear standards and stamp out any back chat.
  2. Consolidate recent improvements in positioning at the breakdown and scrum.
  3. Put into practice some of the work from the scrum training at the Society meeting this week.
  4. Keep smiling!

Overall

First the good news – the pre-match nerves were still there, but far better than previously. I’m guessing this will continue to improve as I gain experience

I came off the pitch disappointing with myself. I just didn’t feel that I had hit my goals. I probably came off the least happy so far this season. I didn’t necessarily have a bad game, but once again the breakdown and my management of it deteriorated and I didn’t manage the situation well.

A massive penny also dropped for me today. You spend 80+ minutes on a pitch when nobody tells you you have done anything well, and there is plenty of feedback telling you that you haven’t. I need to get into this mindset and (a) stop getting quite so much feedback and (b) when it comes, to remember to have the confidence in my own ability and not lose confidence and start to believe I am making the wrong decisions.

Breakdown

I could become obsessed about this! The breakdowns in the game became more and more chaotic as the game progressed. Time and again we ended up with a mass of bodies piled up, hands all over the place, players calling out and the ball completely stuck. I am clearly not intervening early enough in the breakdown, nor am I laying down the standards early enough to ensure that things don’t deteriorate. I know this isn’t, in theory, that complicated. But the reality is of course far more complex and I need more experience and more clear thinking to get on top of this aspect of the game.

On a more positive note, I continued to improve my position at the breakdown, moving back and turning towards the defensive line to get a wider view and be able to watch for offside.

Assertiveness

This still needs more work. There was less ‘chat’ from the players than my last match but I still find myself being over tolerant. One challenge that I have is that I can hear players calling out, but am too involved in other aspects of the game to know exactly who is speaking, This makes taking concrete action more difficult, but of course I always have recourse to the Captain.

Smile

Hmmm. Another one to work on.

Other aspects

I’m aware that this is quite a negative note. For balance I would say that I managed the scrum well (helped by the Society session). The lineout caused no issues and I controlled it well spotting a number of issues and straightening them out early (closing the gap, delayed throw in etc).

So my ‘set pieces’ are where I would like them to be at this stage in my development.

I also think I play advantage well and clearly, and my signals are improving.

Points to work on

  1. Setting the standard at the breakdown.
  2. Control the chatter.
  3. Smile.

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