Well, not exactly the start any of us would have liked, but considering it’s the first game of the proper season it could perhaps be excused.
Losing is never the best outcome especially in competitive sports, but losing must be taken into context. I personally think the boys played one of their better games for a very long time and I can categorically state they should have won. However they did not.
I thought that individually they played a lot better than they did against brackenfell, however as a team I thought they did not support each other as well as they should have, and as they committed to do.
I thought the game was definitely one of the more entertaining games seen at Stellenberg today, with parents and spectators jumping up and down in excitement. This is a sure sign that the team played better today, unfortunately they just couldn’t finish it off.
On the bright side from the game, the scrum was awesome, the defence was top notch- definitely one of the better defensive displays I have seen in a while! The amount of pressure they put Stellenberg under was impressive, and they can count themselves unlucky not to have scored a try from a Stellenberg mistake. The structure was evident at times as well, however not enough was seen to put pressure on Stellenberg’s well organised defence. When the structure was done properly we went forward very fast and well, but unfortunately the boys just couldn’t keep that up.
What Mr Jones and myself did notice was that there was determination displayed by the boys as well as a commitment to play well. That in my opinion was the first thing this team needed to focus on first before we got into the technical aspects of the game. So I’m extremely pleased the boys are now playing with passion, and with determination to not to give up when the chips are down. They could have easily dropped their heads after the try in the first 2 mins, but they did not, they fought back and set up camp in Stellenberg’s 22m. They were there for so long, a fire and a braai would not have been out of place. Unfortunately they just could not get over the whitewash, yes we have not practiced it yet, but I was hoping the guys would have been able to finish it off in anyway they saw. I suppose not scoring many tries for a while does that to a team, so it will definitely be an aspect us coaches will look at before the next match.
So even though we lost, I do not think it’s a train smash in any way, I think we as a team learnt a lot and will come out of this with more positives than negatives. I truly believe the team is on an upward curve, learning and growing as a team. Confidence does not happen over night but what I sense is that they are definitely growing with confidence after each and every practice we have.
This team is on a journey, an adventure if you like, a slow process of turning the past around 360 degrees. Things will not happen immediately and neither will huge wins. But what I believe is that if every single player keeps on the track we are on now, the team will become successful on their own terms, not anybody elses. A successful team is one that is built up with more substance than solely on wins. As long as every single player within the team grows as a person and a rugby player this season, they will have been successful… and who knows maybe the positive results everyone demands will come…but just give it time.
So well done boys for playing your heart out today, I’m proud of all of you… now let’s keep our heads held up high, get back onto the training field on Monday and keep the adventure going!