As usual this team never ceases to astound me. I am still battling to explain or even understand yesterday’s match.
The way they started the match was so terrible, I was completely dismayed and at a loss for words. When you know what a team is capable of you hope they see and understand it too, and pray they are so focused on getting there that nothing will stop them. Alas, this is the joy of coaching u15 rugby, for it is such a challenge to break their beliefs and perceived boundaries. Before this match it has been difficult to get the boys to understand what they are capable of, as they had never produced anything near their potential at high school so far, that is however until yesterday.
I do not know what made them wake up and realize they were playing like absolute rubbish the entire match, but something happened and they decided, “Hey this sucks, lets try and win the match and score some points!” After a short period of pressure, the first try of the season was scored by Aphiwe on the wing after some lovely hands put him into space. I’m sure the team thought this was rather fun scoring the tries for a change and thus decided to carry on.
I must admit and be totally honest, I did not even worry about the score line after the first try because I did not think there was enough time to win the match as we were down 19 – 3. I encouraged them to score another, just to see if they had it in them… and low and behold, after the game plan was enacted rather well, our little tank of a hooker, Struan, scored an awesome try on the wing. (not too sure why he was there, probably having a breather, or a chat with the wings, but netheraless… it was a great try) At this stage we were only 6 points behind them. Without trying to waste too much time, Shane was ‘encouraged’ to take the kicks quickly by a drop instead of the usual place kick, this was a risky move, but one I thought was necessary to ensure we had enough time to score another try. The first kick, Shane missed, but luckily he got the second one over (it was extremely close and just went over the cross bar) this was to prove vital at the end.
After the kick-off I’m sure everyone started to realize that a win was actually a possibility and not a fantasy any longer. Thus the passion and emotion I have been trying to extract from them (very painfully and slowly I might add) started to come to the fore. And WOW what a difference a little bit of passion makes! You could see it in the boys faces, they wanted to win, they desperately needed to win, they gave it everything! They held onto that ball as best they could, and after numerous penalties the Bishops team gave away, they found themselves near the Bishops tryline. Here I must congratulate the forwards, because as a unit, they gave it everything to bash the Bishops forwards backwards. They gained the upper hand and sucked in their pack, causing spaces out wide. After another beautiful passage of play, with the ball moving across the field exactly as planned, Logan found himself in a 3 on 1 situation with the tryline in front of him. Now I could say he should have passed the ball to little tank , but he obviously had enjoyed his glory already according to Logan, so he decided to go himself and scored a phenomenal try (apparently it was extremely controversial according to the oppositions side, BUT, the referee called it and thus it was LEGAL…) sportsman’s ship was then displayed by all the parents and players accepting the referee’s decision…
FINALLY the final whistle went and the boys went ballistic, realising that they had won by playing a grand total of 10 mins of rugby.
Let me put it this way, I am EXTREMELY PROUD of the way the boys came back from such a deficit and won the match, I know they would have given up and lost by more not so long ago, so that was the main positive, that they are now mentally able to win close games and I trust they now realise what they are capable of. I don’t give a damn who we now face in the next few weeks, because I now know that they can do it, and the talk of doing has ended now, doing the job is now priority.
It frustrates me that they started so badly, forgetting to actually make the tackles to have a good defence, but let’s hope it was a glitch and that after the match more was learn’t because of it.
Let’s see how they train this week with exams coming up, but it shouldn’t be a massive undertaking as long as they do their studying properly and can come to practice 100% focused for the AWESOME challenges ahead! We have Paul Roos this weekend, and I always enjoy playing them because they love playing rugby and hopefully… so do we now!
Hard week of preparation ahead, so keep focused guys, because if your not ready mentally, then your only cheating yourself and letting the team down.
Let’s take this team to places you never thought were possible at the beginning of this year!
YOU CAN DO IT, IT’S JUST A MATTER OF BELIEVING IT AND GOING OUT THERE TO DO THE JOB YOUR MEANT TO DO!
You are never really playing an opponent. You are playing yourself, your own highest standards, and when you reach your limits, that is real joy.
— Arthur Ashe