A tough match
By Stuart Grantham
but lessons learnt
So, in complete contrast to last Sunday, the sun shone and it looked like a great day for rugby. Unfortunately, the good weather was the last good news of the day.
With half term plus a few injuries hitting team numbers, we managed to get 15 players on the field, so everyone was going to have to work hard. In recognition of our good performance and strong squad numbers when we visited Leciester Forest last season, they had put the message out and ended up bringing 25 players for their first visit to Nottingham Moderns. As a result, it was always going to be a game of two halves (or two teams as Leicester Forest could pretty much change their team at half time).
In spite of some good work when Moderns had the ball, the boys were always under pressure with Leicester Forest quick off the line. This forced some rushed passing and a lot of Moderns' attacking play was off the back foot. The boys would typically retain the ball in the ruck, but were forced to put more players into the ruck than Leicester Forest meaning that there were less players in the attacking line. This made it difficult to get the ball out to Rouwan and Billy on the wing.
A similar scenario existed when Moderns were defending with players being pulled into the ruck, leaving gaps in the midfield which Leicester Forest exploited.
In spite of a very challenging game, which saw Leicester Forest leading by 24 points to 7 at half time, the boys kept their heads up and never gave up. In particular, Conner was a constant thorn in the side of Leicester Forest as he ran, tackled, rucked and broke tackles throughout the game. His try under the posts was well deserved and provided a relatively easy conversion for Harry whose kicking gets better week by week.
The second half saw the loss of both Billy and Rouwan to slight knocks. With Leicester Forest lending us a couple of wingers, we played through to the end, which was a 57-7 win for Leicester Forest.
Whilst I am sure the half term break will be enjoyed, we will be back on Sun 4 Nov and will refocus on some of the basics as we prepare for the next block of games through to Christmas and the next round of the NLD Shield against Market Rasen on 16 Dec
Enjoy the break and see you all, refreshed and reinvigorated, in 2 weeks