Ones lose to Uckfield
Time to dig dip!!!
Having lost to Uckfield prior to Christmas we knew that this was gong to be a tough game. With our ever increasing injury list complimented with a number of regulars unavailable we had a squad pushed to the limits. However, training had been excellent during the week and we were in confident mood going into the game.
We started the game poorly and it was clear from the early exchanges that there was a spark about our visitors play. We were slow in responding to situations and indeed failed to see situations developing, which is very unlike us. Uckfield were first to everything and this limited our opportunities to attack. Our set piece, which is usually so reliable, started to falter, notably the lineout where the Uckfield jumpers were quicker off the ground and disrupting ur ball. Thus it was difficult for us to get more than a phase of clean possession together. The interpretation at the breakdown was proving a challenge for both teams with a huge penalty count for both teams, culminating in two yellow cards for each team during the game. Uckfield were clinical when they had possession and disruptive when we were in possession. Having conceded ten points in the early exchanges it took us a long time to string any clean phases together. This eventually came after 35 minutes from a good clean lineout and peel. A follow up carry was cleared out well and quick ball saw Cooke beat his man to cross the line. He converted to add the extras. Toward the end of the half our first yellow card happened and then the half seemed to keep going as infringements occurred. It was the 49th minute when our defence finally broke and Uckfield scored again to make it 7-17 at half time.
We knew that we had not been at our best in the first half and that our opponents had been more active than us. Add to this a high penalty count and some poor decision making and it was a half to forget. We knew we could put this right in the second half if we pulled together.
Generally the second half was a better performance and we started to play with structure and intent. However, we got involved in niggle too often and lost our focus making it easy to defend. Our penalty count remained high and ultimately this stopped us from creating pressure and building momentum. The game descended into a scrappy messy game and both teams failed to add to the score sheet in the second half.
The loss means Uckfield close the gap to us to three points and we have to be right on our game for the remaining five games to ensure that we finish in second place. Every game is going to be tough in the set of five but it is still in our hands and is up to us to perform when it really matters. Head Coach Rhodri Lewis said, 'We were pretty poor today in many aspects of our game. We let our opponent dictate too much, which is something that doesn't happen very often. We have taken pride in working hard for each other but today at times we were a group of individuals. There were some strong individual performances but we wont win these remaining games if we are not working together. Too many people today lost their discipline both in playing to our game plan and in getting involved in unnecessary niggle. This ultimately cost us as we lost focus and gave away far too many penalties. We need to remember what we have done well over the past eighteen months and go back to that. If we can do that then we can pick up the points and victories from the remaining games that we need to finish second. '