AFRC 5 – Ur. Beers 17

After our default win against Zenkai Beers at the beginning of September, we were looking for a good game against one of the best team in our league, Urayasu Beers.

It was hard to gather a team, but almost everyone showed up on time on this Sunday morning, with some last minute surprises. As “toban team”, we had to set up the ground, putting posts, marking lines, and it took some time because those f*** soccer players wouldn’t allow us to step on their ground despite the fact that they were only training. On my side, as a coach, I had to deal with one of the most tight-ass referee I have ever seen: he wanted a complete list of players, which is difficult when people are showing late, he reluctantly lent us a line-touch judge flag, he took 10 minutes to explain specific rules…

So, with no time for warm-up or exercices, we started the game. From the beginning, UB started hard. They were attacking without losing the ball, we were defending, and on turn-outs, Graham kicked the ball in line-out in order to gain some momentum. We didn’t do much during this first half, defending superbly but not inspired on our attack moves. Possession stats were something like 80% UB – 20% AFRC. Everybody put his body on the line to defend and finally, UB scored a try on the corner at the last minute. 5-0.

Weather was hot and a strong wind coming from the side influenced the way both team played, with kicks and a lot of line-outs on one side of the field. Second half started like the first one, but we were far more agressive than before. By that time, we had secured all our scrums and managed to steal some balls with big pushs from our first row (Nike, Higashi). We also ended up having better passes and some ball protection on open mauls. Unfortunately, UB scored another try on a counter-attack. 10-0. A moment after, as we were defending, we launched our counter-attack form our ground and on the third or fourth play, with brilliant fixing made by Guy and Alex, I just had to run the last 10 meters to score a try as a wing (my normal position). 10-5.

AFRC was back in the game, but a little late. With no time, we did as we could, but lack of fitness has put us in difficult ground. UB was much more fit than us, and they proved it by scoring a last try. 17-5.

Well, good things, bad things. The referee was a tight-ass but he was good and had interesting remarks at the end: AFRC has strong individual qualities but we lack of fitness and teamplay. We know that he is right. Fitness can be worked alone but teamplay means coming regularly to games and training. Then, you know your teammates and you know how they are going to play, so you are positioning yourself: for example, you know that Lolo will grab the ball and run as deep as he can so you’d better protecting his ass when he will fall on the ground.

Good points were again, strong play by the forward, Vincent Mathieu and then Akihiro jumping on line-outs, devastating scrums… As for the backs, we defended well, because lots of attacks were coming at them, but I let other specialists commenting on that, I can’t judge, I had my head inside the maul…

Next game could be really great, I think we are on the verge of something.

Matt R

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