A Coaches’ Perspective on the P6s at Stirling County
Sunday 28 February 2016
Sunday morning saw great, if cold, conditions for rugby for our matches at Stirling County. Blue skies and firm ground provided an excellent setting for some open running rugby. Following a challenging training session on Wednesday night (I blame the full moon !), which added significantly to the volume of grey hair sprouting from my head, we were hoping that the boys would be in the mood to play.
Our first game against Stirling County saw phase after phase of pressure lead to some great scores for the Wee Reds. Moving forward, we looked fluid, although could still have made better use of the space on the pitch, running directly into contact / trouble too often when easier options were available. Disappointingly, that pressure in attack was not matched with the required commitment in defence, with Stirling running through us to score some simple tries – on occasion untouched by the defending players. In the end, our pressure in attack led to a victory by 1 try.
In our second game against another Stirling County squad it was more of the same – some real hard work, good team play and strong running to score given up too easily when we were in defence. Again, we held out to win by 1 try, but we made it difficult for ourselves. I started counting missed tackles / failures to attempt a tackle and lost count when it got into double figures (I ran out of fingers…).
Against West, our defensive frailties were exploited, and they put up a very strong defensive performance eventually running out winners by 6 tries to 1. West are a very strong club and have been training and playing games throughout the year so far on their synthetic outdoor pitches, which showed in their fluency and organisation. That said, we could have made their lives significantly more difficult with some committed tackling and some more direct running in attack.
There are some real positives in the boys’ play just now, with their communication working well and some good inter-play in attack. That part is great to watch and the squad we have possess the ability to beat any side at our age level. On areas for further development, it’s a difficult complaint to have with 10-11 year old boys, but when competing for the ball we’re just too polite ! They are a nice group, but we need to show some aggression and fight when competing for the ball otherwise we’ll always come off second best to more physical / committed teams, even where those teams don’t have our ability. Tackling and rucking can’t be optional and too often it’s left to the same small number of boys in the team to do that hard work consistently.
Well done to the squad on Sunday and plenty to work on at training on Wednesday night. Bring your “tackling heads !”