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U14 First Friendly of the Season v Horsham

U14 First Friendly of the Season v Horsham

By Neil Oakley
26 September 2016
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Tough Warm-up


Sunday 25th September,

EG 10 v ‘More’ Horsham
(no need for the Score, they did run in a few more Tries ☺)

Well we picked a tough one for a first warm up game of the season, Horsham coming 2nd in the A-League last season and always having the upper hand on us in historic meetings. But this was not without reason. With the Pool we have been selected in for our Youth Competition this season we needed a team to test us to the limits. This in turn would help us as a Team understand where we will need to concentrate our training efforts to ready us for what lay ahead.

It was another beautiful September morning for us.
Unfortunately we were short of a few players – and this was to show later in play. Pre-match discussion was for us to achieve 3 main objectives:
1.) Enjoy It!
2.) Practice our skills we’ve worked on in recent weeks; Good hands and accuracy of passing, Continuity out of the breakdown, Fast Ruck ball, Offloads, Pop-pass from the floor and great interactive passing in open play.
3.) High Commitment and work rate.

The first half got off to a blistering start. G’s were straight out of the blocks contesting everything and largely winning all the up-front battles. No more so than with a powerful display of determination from Cain Levene scoring the first Try of the match just a few minutes in for the G’s. A second try some minutes later from some perfect Backs play spreading the ball wide and we looked to be off to a fantastic start. Horsham though… were never going to be that easy.

The Second half there was no less commitment to start. Horsham though brought on some of their stars and the work rate from them, particularly in the Backs, went to a different level. G’s did well to contain them for a while but the constant pressure paid and with injuries occurring we had a team shake-up and players out of position. This led to multiple occasions where the Horsham speedsters were able to find a gap and get away… Before we knew it we were trailing on the try count. Credit to the Team though for the last 5 minutes or so of play they came back showing massive heart and determination. Camped in the Horsham 5m’s and constantly probing for the score… but Horsham’s defense held out to the whistle.

So for our objectives…
1.) Hands up who enjoyed it?.... resounding positivity! Tick.
2.) Skills, Early hands were fantastic but got less accurate as the team tired. Quick Ruck ball time and time again… excellent work. Offloads from contact on and off the ground time and time again…. Perfect. And the occasional sublime inter-player passing down the 5m touch channel that the Seniors would be envious of! - Tick.
3.) Commitment? Started Fast, Ended Strong… Tick.

Great Test for the Team, plenty to build on for us over the coming weeks.
Thanks to Horsham for being great hosts as ever and ‘helping’ us learn and know what we must now do to improve.

Great effort from the squad and particularly our Match debut’s; Oliver Johnston, Cain Levene, Archie Read… You’re fitting in nicely gents.

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