"I always felt that my greatest asset was not my physical ability, it was my mental ability" - Bruce Jenner (athlete)
After enjoying the free flowing rugby against a poor Carrick, this week was always going to be more challenging. Today we re-learnt some home truths from last season. They could cope with our physical runners (and particularly from the re-starts we really ran hard at them - well done Callum and Harvey for putting in the hard yards) and they got to the ball quicker than we did often turning us over or slowing down our ball (we had no bullet amongst the s2s meaning the award for the first player to the breakdown following a tackle was not awarded for second week running - the only player in contention was Dylan from s3). We did some good clearing at times through Harvey who took "The Stag". Slow ball means they can reset their defence to have another shot at our backline. Quick ball usually means they are out of position and we get a chance to cut through. We really need to work on supporting the ball carrier, getting on his shoulder looking for an offload or being the bullet if he's tackled, generating quick ball. When we did manage to do this we did make some breaks and good yardage up the pitch through Adam and Kris. We saw Cole and Callum making repeated runs but they could knock us over and our support was slow. At times, it looked like we either expected our team mates to make a miracle break against one of the better teams in the league or we didn't want to get our hands on the ball. When they had the ball they could move it around the park, forwards and backs interplaying, catching and passing with lots of room. Here we need to work on putting them under pressure. If we chase up as a defensive unit (forwards and backs) and put them under pressure the opposition will drop balls or we get to make dominant tackles and a chance to win the ball. Today, we allowed them too much space and they cut through us. At times we were walking back facing the wrong way, which is just not good enough at s2 level and gets Coach Gordon angry! There were brighter moments, our scrum did well (well done to the front row of Lucas, Kris, Rhys and Dylan from s3) and there were some good individual tackles through Josh who took the Chainsaw and Dylan. Korben dug the ball deep out of the rucks and gave some nice spin passes from 9. We tried some chip kicks with Ruari chasing his own left footed kicks well, but as a team we need to work on chasing our own kicks. As the game wore on gaps opened up for Ross who got a well deserved try for his running, converted by Ruari (who took jackal with 2 turnovers) with a drop goal as QVS had snaffled our kicking tee!, a break for Joe and a burst from Kyle. Great to see Brandon and Dean doing more good things as their understanding of the game develops. Today we learnt that attitude and desire are just as important as skill-set and you've got to want to win not expect to lose. We've got 2 weeks to put this right.