Match Report
Sir Thomas Rich's School Boys-U14A vs  Ysgol Gyfun Glantaf
On: Monday, 18 Sep 2023
Venue: at Home

Match Analysis vs Glantaf

Welsh side Ysgol Gyfun Glantaf were the visitors for game day 4. Tommies were looking to bounce back after a difficult weekend fixture. After a torrential downpour, it was hardly a surprise to see both teams make handling errors early on. Both sides defended well, and game was predominately played in and around the halfway line. Tommies had the first dangerous attack of the game after Fenton saw space in behind and kicked long into the Glantaff 22. Our visitors looked to play from deep but in slippery conditions made a costly handling error close to their own line. Harper picked off the base of the scrum and fell just short of the Glantaf line. Whitelock recycled the ball quickly and found Fenton. The Tommies 10 moved the ball on sharply to O’Neill who delivered a quick pass to Andrews. Andrews bounced off one defender and put Ferchow away on the outside. With the corner beckoning, Ferchow fizzed a lovely pass back inside to Andrews, taking out the last defender, and giving the Tommies 13 the simplest of finishes. Fenton added a tricky conversion and Tommies led 7-0.

Glantaf responded well and controlled possession of the ball. The Tommies defence held firm and Carvajal was destructive at the breakdown. Attacking down the short side there were decent carries from Yemm and Griffin before Harper broke through a few soft shoulders and swooped in under the posts. The extras were added, and Tommies led 14-0 at half time.

The second half was a scrappy affair. Neither team were able to build any serious attacks, with both sides making plenty of unforced errors. With seven minutes remaining Glantaf struck. A try scored from nowhere and suddenly the game was alive. Tommies took the resulting kick off and unfortunately spilt the ball forward when competing in the air. Nevertheless, the game was just outside the Glantaf 22, and Tommies were still in control. From the resulting scrum, the Glantaf number 8 ran the length of the pitch, evading countless tackles, before diving in under the posts. The extras were added, and the game was all square with a minute to play. Tommies were shell shocked and Glantaf took full advantage. Wave after wave of attack came and a desperate Tommies defence did their best but unfortunately conceded a penalty straight in front of the posts. Glantaff nudged over the kick and completed an exceptional comeback.

A step back in the right direction, but we must defend for 50 minutes if we are to get the better of these strong sides!

Man of the Match was Harley. The lock forward was everywhere in defence and got through an incredible amount of work upfront. A brilliant display of defensive determination!

Areas to Improve

Tackling – Fatigue possibly played a part in this, but our tackling in the last 10 minutes wasn’t good enough. We defended well for 40 minutes but against sides on our fixture list, we will get punished should we relax for even a couple of minutes. Think about our defensive structure and line speed. Defending as a collective is far easier that individuals having to make one up tackles.

Street wise rugby – Are we doing the basics well and looking for marginal gains, all the small, savvy details that can help us win a game. We have spoken about a few examples at training, and we now need to implement them in our games.