Bedford 17 v Ampthill 19
So as you all know, we won! We blooming well beat Bedford!
The pitch was in decent condition and it was a lovely day for rugby, sunny and hardly a cloud in the sky. It was actually quite warm given the recent cold snap.
My notes aren’t the most detailed ever as I was too caught up in the game, but here is how I saw it.
It was clear from the warm up that the boys were up for it today and our start was really positive. Rucking past the ball and fast defence put a lot of pressure on the Bedford half-backs. In what seemed to be no time at all, Ross was able to cross the line to score, to the left of the posts. Fynn wasn’t able to convert, hitting the underside of the bar. 0-5
The early lead was nothing more than they deserved and forwards and backs worked really well together, with good support of runners when we had the ball and some solid tackling when Beds had possession.
We dominated possession and territory for the first half and the only real issue was a bad decision to run a miss pass move in our 22. I wasn’t the right place and wasn’t executed well; this allowed Bedford to run in a really easy try under the posts from an interception. The conversion was easy and put Bedford in at half time 7-5 up.
The momentum didn’t shift much despite this set back and we kept up the same commitment into the second half. The forwards got a rumble on and a bundle of forwards crossed the line with Pierce at the bottom of it to score. A simple conversion from Fynn put us 7-12 up.
We earned a good penalty about 10 metres from the line and one of the learning points is about decisions in these cases. Perhaps we should have gone for the penalty kick at goal to put us 8 points ahead? In the end we opted for scrum and Beds kept us out. They then marched us back up the pitch. Things were looking dangerous until Charlie S wrapped up the ball and Fin smashed the ruck to give us possession. We went down the blindside and Liam was able to get away to score under the posts. Easy conversion from Fynn, 7-19.
After this we lost a bit of our shape and intensity, Bedford started to break through our tackles which had become a bit high, the wafty hands disease was back and it allowed them to score a try wide left. Conversion missed putting the score to 12-19. Still a converted try gap so not panic stations – or so I tried to tell myself.
The wafty hands disease was accompanied by rucking up to the ball rather than past it and this put us under pressure that we shouldn’t have felt given the dominance in most areas of the pitch.
Just to make things really interesting, Bedford scored again right of the posts about hallway across. I’m reliably told that Jacob got finger tips onto the conversion attempt and it hit the outside of the posts. 17-19
Then the injuries started, you’ve heard about them already but at one point we had 3 players off the pitch.
The boys are now getting to the age and size / strength were the contact situations are tough and injuries are going to happen. Thanks to Duncan for being on hand to manage the situations with the player’s welfare utmost.
Time was with us and there was huge cheer as the final whistle was blown. A game that we deserved to win and did win.
This is starting to look like a really exciting squad of players with some really fine performances and some great rugby brains as well as brawn on display. All of the coaches were very very proud of the way the boys delivered today.
Standing the bar afterwards, it was easy to see the Ampthill coaches, we were the ones grinning like a bunch of Cheshire Cats, not saying much, just grinning.
The things we did really well:
Commitment / heart / desire
Good phase play, creating space for the backs.
Work rate from the start