Oakham vs OWRFC U9s 13.1.2019


Oakham have one of the newest clubhouses we’ve had the pleasure of visiting recently, not to mention a sprawling selection of pitches covering a vast area of open space and a very generous amount of parking. A few more ‘directional’ signs to help those who don’t know the area well would come in handy too.

Once again, our squad was split into two teams and because of the distance between the two pitches it wasn’t possible to get a good feel for how both of them faired.

On the team I was able to watch, at times it seemed like our players needed a fair bit of ‘direction’ at times.

The morning had been turned into a bit of a mini tournament, minus the usual burger vans, bouncy castles, tournament photographers and long breaks between matches. The matches came quick and fast, with breaks long enough only for a brief pep talk from Head Coach Mark or one of the other coaches and a drink to freshen up. I’m certain the parents were all thankful as it meant less standing around on an exposed touchline in pretty rubbish weather!

Perhaps resulting from the Christmas and New Year break, there was a little rustiness in the play today. Head Coach Mark was reinforcing his usual high standards as he seemed to be constantly reminding everyone to be alert, to switch on and to improve their overall intensity and support.

As usual, when we worked together as a team and supported each other it seemed like we were able to score with ease in each match played. Likewise, when the whole team stayed positive and got involved, scoring and defending came easily to them.

We attack together and defend together, and when we do its fantastic to watch. Players running onto passes, support players receiving the ball and making ground to set up try after try, not to mention the intense tackling by a handful of our players.

However, on a fair few occasions we did seem to lack the intensity needed in the entire team. We needed to get a bit closer as a unit in both attack and defence, a little braver and lower in the tackle, and to show the eagerness and desire take control of the ball in the loose. We also seemed to be relying on two or three players to put a defensive shift in for the team.

Can’t fault the attitude of the players I watched though, especially on one occasion in the last match where it all came together they drove the attacking line back all the way to their own try line!

Overall, some work to do to get everyone switched on throughout the whole match and on our defence.

For the team I wasn’t able to watch, if their eagerness to tell me all about how well they’d done at the end of the morning was anything to go by, they had a good few matches.

Next up, Lutterworth.


Andrew Shilliam