Rams Butt The Dragons In Shenzhen Rugby Classic
It was a hard-fought battle against Guangzhou on Saturday, a lot of lessons to be learned and a lot of good things to take away from the game also. First of all, though, well done to everybody for the huge effort and for not letting our heads drop despite going 24-12 down. It says a lot about a team when its players keep playing with everything they have even though things are not going their way. We could easily have given up and waited for the final whistle, but we fought for the entire 80 minutes and it paid off in the end with two great tries!
We spent the first 20 minutes parked inside their 22 but just couldn’t get the ball over the line. There were a few fumbles, dropped balls and small mistakes (nothing that more game practice can’t fix) that cost us dearly as we failed to score in the 1st quarter. We conceded a few tries in the 2nd quarter but we also absorbed a lot of pressure and kept a strong defense. In the 3rd quarter we stepped it up and didn’t allow them to score a single point, but we were again unlucky, getting no points on the scoreboard. In the final quarter we dominated them and got two triess off the back of 5 or 6 phases of rugby, we kept it tight and supported every crash ball, we recycled well and cleaned out at the ruck. This was our game plan and in the last 20 minutes we got it right.
There a few simple things that we need to improve for the next game: rucking, line-outs, awareness of where their players are. We should not be discouraged or beat ourselves up because we lost. Bottom line is they have an experienced team that has played together for a number of years; its players have a hundred of rugby games under their belts. They are a well-oiled machine; that’s not an excuse for us, but every team needs match practice to learn the game and that’s what we are doing. More than half the guys that played for us on Saturday were making their first appearance for Shenzhen, and half of those were playing their first ever rugby match. In two weeks we will be better; build on this Saturday and improve. Only 12 points in it fellas, the Gunagdong Cup is still in Shenzhen…we will only take it to Guangzhou for a day trip because it’s coming straight back home! Please let me know if you are available for the game in Guangzhou on March 13th, we will either bus or train up and stay overnight.