Monday 13 December 2010

Old School Ties and Fez-Heads

imageI made up for the lack of recent actively with two matches this weekend. Saturday saw me take on a senior league game and Sunday it was U13 action.

Yet again on Saturday it was a close game, with the home side holding out for a 20-17 win, despite being outscored 3 tries to 2 and managing to miss 4 penalties in front of posts in the final quarter. The was some great individual skills on display, especially from Black 7, who I suspect should have been on the receiving end of my whistle more often than I managed.

It wasn’t may best day, rucks were a little untidy and all four props wanted to bugger about. Both captains channelled their front row’s complaints to me at the break. The black loose head side was the most troublesome with both props looking to turn in. Practically every scrum ended with them at 90 degrees to each other. The cause of this could be either one, but the actions of each looks like the other is committing a foul. Its very difficult to assign blame. A good chat with the prop in the bar helped me to understand what was going on which I hope will help next time.

The only flash point of the game was at 15 from time as yellow 9 tip tackled black 7. The player was winded but recovered quickly and his team mates were calling for a yellow card. Whilst he did take the legs through the horizontal, the ball carrier was already low down and the tone of the game had been very clean. A stiff warning and a penalty in front of the posts (which was missed!) was sufficient.

Sunday was a all together calmer game, London Welsh youth v Saracens. As happened earlier in the season, London Welsh, started very slowly and lost the game in the first 10 minutes. They were 29 points down at half time but they drew the second half. Reffing the kids does see me coaching them to a large degree. They won’t learn through penalties alone and verbal communication is used to a higher degree. The Welsh scrum was very weak and judging advantage for knock-ons became a lopsided affair, as Welsh were better served with opposition ball in open play than by loosing possession on their own put-in.

The youth game on the adjacent pitch was held up for 40 minutes as two ambulances arrived to treat a freak collision that rendered two lads unconscious. Never a nice thing to happen.

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