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Minety RFC 48 – 15 Wotton Bassett 2nd XV 11th Spetember 2010 Tries: Ryan Dowling (2), Russell Barstow (2), Mark Holdsworth (2), Jack Ward, Ian Illingworth Cons: Jack Ward (3), Russell Barstow

Having secured the winning bonus point before half time a wave of hyper-criticism swept through the team at the final whistle.  It is easy to lose sight of the bigger picture when there’s so much everyone wants to improve on.  The elephant in the room was that both 1sts and 2nds won their opening league game of the 2010/11 season and both secured winning bonus points.

The credit for this goes to the whole squad who have worked tirelessly over the summer to develop their fitness.  The fact that both Minety teams  finished very strongly in the last 20 minutes is testament to this.

But (and there’s always a but) there’s still much to work on.  The penalty count was poor particularly at the contact area.  We spent too much time competing to win their ball (and got pinged for hands) and not getting behind the back foot.  Discipline was generally good although I allowed my frustration to get the better of me at times.

Aside from the win, positives littered our display.  Our defensive line-out worked extremely well and our scrum was strong all afternoon.  Back line play was devastating at times and our committment to keep the tempo high and move our opponents about was excellent.  Our ability to switch from a wide game to a tight game on demand is going to be a valuable asset this season.

50% of our tries came from the outside backs, we attacked from deep, developed patterns of play and created many line breaks.  Best of all we got outside of our comfort zone and tried things all afternoon. We played heads up rugby and it was a great effort from everyone involved.

A special thank you to Jack Ward. Over the close season he has worked tirelessly to get things as he wants them for the start of the season.  Not only did he captain with aplomb but also managed the off-field PR duties brilliantly – organising photos for the sponsors of the warm up tops and new playing shirts, creating a great match day programme and an amusing pen portrait of the coach!  Good work , Jack. 

Perhaps the biggest smile of the afternoon was on Charlie’s face.  He was part of the working party that erected the new fence for the advertising hoardings.  Seeing the number of people on the side of the pitch with the new fence he said “I told you, if you build a fence, people will lean on it”.  A job well done.

Training this week will be on Tuesday.  Saturday we are at home to Melksham RFC.

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