The clocks allowed us all an extra hour in bed this morning and so the 0930 arrival at Fullerians RFC, a 30 minute trip down the M1 near Watford, wasn’t as painful as it might have been.
Conditions were good for rugby, mild, only a slight breeze and dry. The pitch was also in good condition.
We took a depleted squad due to the half term break and players out through injury and this meant we had only a couple of substitutes.
Fullerians are in the HML Division above us and even though we were playing a team who had 5 or so players out at county trials, we were still expecting a tough match. In the end it proved to be a bit one sided.
The first thing I wanted to praise was the fitness level. The boys – especially the forwards – showed great stamina to last 60 minutes. Our superior fitness really showed and the boys who all worked really hard over the summer to get fit should be proud of the work they put it. The results of that effort were clear today.
The initial play was fairly even and both sides rucked effectively and tried to get the ball moving around. Ampthill were first to score, a nice passage of play saw the ball reach Ben White on the wing and he showed good pace and strong running to go half the pitch to score.
This try proved to be the breakthrough and for a period of around 20 minutes the A’s dominated the game and ran in more tries. So this all meant we were 29-0 up at half time.
The 2nd half saw a minor change in players with Liam on and Fynn off following a flare up of a neck injury.
The rest of the team was largely unchanged, purely due to the lack of subs.
The last thing the coaches said to the players at half time was to come out of the blocks fast in the second half. Sadly we just didn’t do that. Ok we had a good lead but it would have been lovely to have held Fullerians to nil, and I don’t think its harsh on either side for me to say that we should have done.
A good handful of missed tackles, going in too high and with hands only allowed Fullerians to cross the line in the corner 29-5.
Fullerians then came back at us again but were not able to penetrate our defence. I would like to tell you that this was because the defence was as solid as a rock, all coming up fast together and making good low tackles with shoulders. I would like to say that but I can’t. Even despite the great victory today the defence was poor. Tackles being made far too high and lots of hands to grab.
Now you may have noticed that my normal try by try write up is absent today. I could tell you that this was simply due to the volume of tries we scored. However the honest reason is that I didn’t have my little notebook with me and so can’t be 100% on the order of the tries so . . .
Try scorers were (in true X Factor Style “No particular order”)
I have said in the past that the scorers are not hugely relevant and this remains the case, it isn’t about getting your name in the scorers book (or not as was the case yesterday) the team all deserve a lot of credit for allowing the backs to decide how many Ampthill won by.
In the end the final score was a hugely impressive 55-5.
So in summary:
Great attacking rugby by the whole team
New players starting to fit into the side really well
Good depth of talent in the squad
Things to work on:
Tackling technique – across the board
Defensive work rates
Penalty options / decisions
Decision making in the correct part of the pitch