Chepstow RFC | Under 15s 42 - 18 Southmeade | Under 15s

Match Report
29 October 2017 / Team News

Match Report u15s v Southmeade RFC

After a run of some very difficult rugby matches the team met on Sunday morning to play Southmead, a team that in the past, had always given 100% and had proved to be very difficult to break down.
Reflecting on the tough games of the past month the team spoke about leadership and decision making on the field. Players needing to realise that this was not the coaches responsibility but the players themselves to give the team direction and solve the problems that the opposition present.
Areas of the field that the ball is moved wide and when the ball is moved wide were talked about and also the desire of the team to play without the ball. The team have worked hard on defence and line speed and they need to trust their ability to let the opposition have the ball deep in the their own territory and ‘attack the opposition’ with our aggressive defence.

This was highlighted for the first try of the game when Will Morgan showed impressive line speed and game awareness to intercept an opposition pass and run in unopposed under the posts.

Chepstow’s set piece was working very well. The scrum worked effectively with Lewis, Morgan and Luke forming a new front row and securing our own ball whilst attacking and disrupting opposition ball.
With English line out laws in place, our unopposed lineout was able to set up very effective driving mauls. Taylor secured ball at the front and quickly brought the ball down. Knowing their individual roles the forwards supported with good body positions and set in motion up the field. 
On several occasions, our driving maul worked 40 to 50m upfield. Good teamwork and communication are essential for this to happen.

The forwards hard work meant that Travis and Ben were presented with lots of possession to attack with. Ball was distributed well to the outside backs and attacks gained us territory. Only a combination of committed defence and handling errors meant that we were not converting our chances.

More patience in attack and straighter lines of running would open up the defence as we were too lateral in attack allowing for a strong cover defence to shut us down out wide.

When the ball was maintained, with forwards committing to the breakdown to prevent an opposition jackle, our backs became increasingly dangerous to stop. With more space than we have been previously allowed, our runners cut loose. This enabled several first half tries to be scored, with Steven scoring one and Kieran crossing for two.

The 2nd half continued in the same vain as the first. Wave after wave of Chepstow attack being opposed by committed Southmead defence. Chepstow were guilty of wanting to ball carry when our focus should have been on winning the breakdown. As a result we were turned over when a score seemed likely.

With the opposition resisting our attacks, Ben chose to kick the ball intelligently, turning Southmead and gaining a territorial advantage. This enabled us to attack in the right areas of the pitch and a combination of tight forward drives and expansive attacks out wide meant we extended our lead.

Tries were scored by Sam Alway Dean who carried strongly to claim two tries, Steven with another, Owain, Travis and after a long term absence, Sam Jenkins crossed in what was his first appearance of the season.

Southmead to their credit never gave up and scored a thoroughly deserved try at the end of the game to make the final score 58-5.

Things to be pleased about.
Set piece work, both scrum and lineout were still very effective in the absence of several players.
Implementation of attacking plays of both forwards and backs. Driving mauls worked well and one particular backs move off 1st phase showed a lot of skill and teamwork.
The return of injured players means that there is real competition amongst the squad and will be a real bonus going forward.

Things to work on.
Attacking running lines need to be straighter to commit defenders. Too often we drifted across the pitch and allowed the cover defence to stop our attacks and on several occasions we were pushed into touch.
We need to be quicker to commit support players into the breakdown. This is regardless of the number you wear on your back. The closest support player must be prepared to support the ball carrier in contact to secure the ball and therefore continue our attack.
Several handling errors crept in, either under pressure or with the try line at our mercy. This must be eradicated if were are to convert our scoring chances against tougher opposition.

No game Sunday, but Alyn will require several players to step up and support the 16’s.

On we go.
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