Wednesday 19 January 2011

Out of the way old man

Bethan Rugby ShirtThere is an old saying, “Youth and talent is not match for age and skulduggery”; this was put to the test on Saturday as I took control of a student team verses an adult league team. The students train with the opposition so they were clear this was to be a full contact training match of four quarters. My enthusiasm dropped markedly on hearing this.
From the kick off it was clear that the students were up for it speed and accurate execution saw them quickly rack up three tries. The skulduggery was provided by the grey and balding no6 who was warned about where he put his feet and lashing out at being held back. He was quickly off the field as the the home captain rocketed into him on the floor (with a dropped knee that I missed). This was the second time the captain had done this and yet again I erred about carding him, had it been a competitive game I would have but I choose not to as I wasn’t sure it would have achieved much. On reflection, he should have walked, he had already been warned. Clearly, if I had seen the knee then a red card would have been the sanction.
The home side were able to finish the first half 33-0 as all possession was pushed wide quickly; 3-4 to one overlaps were frequent and surprisingly often squandered. The second half was less one sided as the substitutes were rotated and increasingly the students started to appear on behalf of the visitors. I became concerned in the final quarter as a new prop appeared, he clearly wasn’t up to it, small with poor technique. However, as this was a training match, I was able to talk with his opposite number and he agreed to protect him. Young props have to get experienced somehow and this was a good opportunity for him to cut his teeth. I am glad I spotted this and worked constructively with the team, but I warned his coach that he needs a lot more coaching before he is let loose in proper match. The next prop and referee may not be so obliging and the consequences disastrous. Final score 48-0

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