Ampthill 61 v London Welsh 14
We has a lot to prove this week. after the display last week I think everybosty wanted to see some decent rugby. In many areas we were not disappointed.
The pitch was a bit soft but it a was a lovely bright and relatively still day for our home match. The trek from parking the car was a long one but ultimately it worth it. We were able to get a good training/warm up session in before the match and although I think there were elements of the session that didn’t fill the coaches with great confidence about the performance to come , we were pleasantly surprised when it came to kick off.
We were very quick out of the blocks today in fact the first ruck resulted in ball through to the hands to Liam in some space out wide. No surprises for the outcome. Try under the posts. Fynn somehow managed to hit the post with the conversion. 5-0.
Just as I tried to make a few notes about the first try I had to stop to concentrate on the second one. This time from a kick through, Liam picked up well and was tackled before the line. Great support play from Henry to get there, take the pop pass and score just to the right of the posts. Fynn converted 12-0.
We didn’t take our foot off of the accelerator and after a decent scrum push to give us ball against the head, Lui was able to find and exploit space out wide, again trying to make the conversion easy to score to the left of the posts. Fynn obliged with the extra points and we were off the a great start 19-0
We still hadn’t really has to defend any Welsh possession when we pushed forward from the centre of the pitch, drew the defence in a opened up the space out wide for Liam to score again, running round under the posts. Fynn converted 26-0.
We then had a penalty in the middle of a pitch that we sadly wasted after the best phase of rugby of our season so far. Really dynamic support play, direct running and offloads from contact up the right hand side of the pitch.
Last week I was a little bit cross about the lack of energy into the breakdowns and things were a lot better today but by no means perfect. Dylan had a couple of pick and go’s which worked well and Jacob showed real aggression to hit a ruck with no thought of trying to get the ball, this rucking allowed Fynn to time and weight a pass very nicely for Lui to exploit space out right and score just to the right of the posts. Fynn converted. 33-0.
Just before half time we still found time for another try, and Liam completed his first half hat-trick. This one created by good rucking, defensively and then with possession, decent hands and sucking in defenders. Liam had a lot to do to beat a few Welsh players but scored his best try of the day. converted by Fynn 40-0
The half time team talk was less about hairdryers and more about positive reinforcement this week. We wanted more of the same into the second half. Welsh had hardly been in our half and we hadn’t really had to defend at all so far.
Into the second half things didn’t have quite as much energy and it did seem that we had done the hard work so feet came off accelerator slightly. Still, another good pick and go from Dylan supported by the pack, working together in pods allowed Ross to score. Under the posts again but a bit of a high risk one. He had to beat too many players in the goal area and this could have gone wrong. Alex converted 47-0 and effectively the match was over. In this league a points differential of 45 points ends the game as a contest. The coaches can agree to carry on but the score is recorded as it was at the point the 45 point gap was reached.
Good job for us really as then things got a bit messy. Welsh started to attack harder and some really weak defence of a penalty inside our 22 resulted in an easy try. You guessed it, wafty hand flapping attempts at tackles but without any determination to stop the man. They converted from just left of the posts 47-7.
We scored another try after some really nice pod work from the forwards, a loose ball that Fynn fly-hacked forward to score right of the posts. Alex converted well 54-7.
Adam won us a decent tackle with a textbook perfect jackal but the next score went against us. Again Welsh made decent territory up the pitch and they managed to score a simple try. Not down to brilliance on their part but big holes in our defence. they converted 54-14.
As in the previous 2 weeks we have scored a try that I’ve moaned about. Same this week. Alex scored a decent try with some nice foot work, but the simple and guaranteed score was out wired where the backs had a 3 on 1. He converted his own try to make the final score 61-14.
So a much better performance this week and one the whole team should take confidence from.
Things we did well include:
Good catches and yards made back from drop outs.
More aggressive rucking at times.
really nice handling and support play.
Things to work on:
Only score under the posts if there is no danger. Better to score out side than not score at all.
Team work can always be better.
Hitting the rucks hard – making a difference.
Scrum wasn’t the dominant force it usually is, it was a bit loose.
Overall, a solid performance but still lots to improve on!