1st XV v St Paul's Collegiate
Saturday 14 April 2018
The first XV travelled to Hamilton to contest the Quadrangular Trophy with St Paul's Collegiate. The home side has held the trophy for the last two years so we were desperate to put in a good showing and return the trophy home.
The start of the first half signalled our intent to play the game in the opposition half with our long kicking game extremely effective. We mixed this up with contestable kicks and put the opposition under pressure as they had to get back behind the ball. We endured a period with only 14 players on the field without giving up any points. Then we started to gain ascendency at line out time, as we pressured their jumpers and our first try came from an overthrow that saw Flyn Yates crash over from 5 metres out. We got into our attacking flow after this opening score and Bryn Gordon finished off a well worked team try shortly thereafter to finish the first half with momentum. The talk at the half was around continuing the territory game as our defensive line was showing real aggression and we were consistently creating yards or turnovers through it.
Early pressure in the second half led to Ruben Love scoring an intercept try. He then very nearly backed this up by scoring another try shortly thereafter only to knock the ball on over the line. As the game wore on, our kicking game was paying dividends with the attack pictures changing, allowing us to start playing more with the ball in hand. While we were able to string phases together, we were guilty of untimely handling errors or poor support running after four or five phases. St Paul's scored two tries of their own as a result of gifting possession to them, but there was a sense of opportunism about them and if we dropped our error rate, we were confident we could hold them. We scored two more tries, including a second for Flyn Yates. Ethan Johansen added his name to the score chart and we ran out winners 33-12, thereby winning back the Quadrangular Trophy.
Our attacking plan is starting to come together
with our accurate kicking game laying the platform. Looking forward, we
need to ensure we work on the skills required to string multiple phases
together, thereby converting pressure into points. Defensively, we are
showing a very positive mindset. Technically we have work ons, but the
boys want to get into the fight.
Tries: Flyn Yates x 2
Conversions: Stewart Cruden x 4