St Mary’s, Melrose 12
Today was the first game of the season that we have had every boy fit and available for selection, and having made one or two changes to rotate people around, I was looking forward to see how we would play. Last week at Belhaven, although we won the game very comfortably, we started poorly, and we talked in training during the week about starting well and being focused right from the start. Today, we really came out of the blocks very quickly and the game was over as a contest after the first fifteen minutes. We scored six unanswered tries in the first half and there were some terrific team tries with excellent off loading, good hands in the backs and we played at such a pace and were so clinical with the ball that St Mary’s were chasing shadows. It was good to watch. We left three or four tries out there as well, with one or two poor decisions made with the try line at our mercy, but we showed the rugby we are capable of playing today which bodes well for the challenges that lie ahead after half term.
To be fair to St Mary’s, they never gave up and they scored two tries in the 2nd half, as I took Jack off at the interval to see how others would react without his threatening presence in the midfield, and we took our foot off the pedal somewhat. To be honest, our intensity dropped off quite a lot with the game already won, but we tried to play a little too much rugby without tying in the opposition and going through the phases. Making the right decision whether to off load or to set the ruck is something we need to continue to focus on; small errors were never going to matter today, but in close games, these may be crucial.
The referee, Mr Pounder, was once again hugely impressed with our work at the breakdown, an area we dominated once again. Our jackling was outstanding and we counter rucked on numerous occasions as well as producing very quick ruck ball throughout the game. If you win lots of ball, you are not going to lose many rugby matches!
So another convincing win. Well played, boys. Ardvreck next week then a well deserved half term. After that, challenges aplenty, and I cannot wait for us to be tested and see how we react!