The Old Colfeians senior team travelled to Battersea in their third and final game of pre-season having previously played newly promoted Beckenham and a well fought out inter-squad game last weekend.
Our quest to produce a good performance after a promising pre-season was dampened early doors when members of our team were unable to make the game. However with a strong mental attitude and ruthless determination, the coaches and players alike set aside off-field frustration and use it to motivate themselves ahead of a strong looking, yet questionable kit design, Battersea Ironside.
In the first half both sides started well, with OC’s gaining the first penalty of the match from a Battersea player not rolling away. Up stepped fly half Jack Potter with accurate and consistent kicking out of hand. He gained OC’s a lot of ground up the pitch which gave the forwards confidence for the lineout. Lineouts had been good throughout the game as the Ironsides couldn’t match the speed and movement, laying the ball nicely for scrum half Josh C-D to deliver out in the back line. Play broke out with a few phases from OC’s until a very well drilled and accurate ‘David Pocock’ like steal at every breakdown frustrated OC’s as penalties were given away, this was a common theme throughout the game. Yet again another common theme throughout the game, missed tackles, lead to the first try for the Ironsides. A few minutes on, a huge positive came along with a penalty from a consistent and strong scrum as the Ironsides, like many teams we play, could not handle the ‘Thor’ like strength the forwards have. Potter kicked deep into the corner (nice), setting up a good position for a lineout. OC’s maul got together looking strong, driving forward, metre by metre, over the line and it was try time. People watching from the side were elated to see the last man to rise from the maul was the try scorer, our captain, John Fletcher leading by example. However, celebrations were short lived as too many missed tackles resulted in tries scored by the opposition.
A water break came just in time to collect everybody’s thoughts to look for solutions to gain the structure of the game back; substitutions were made by both sides as both teams looked to take hold of the game. Strong carries from Chris O’Malley, John Fletcher and Ben Westhead looked to set a platform for the backs to break through a strong and organised Ironside defence. Minutes later finally Battersea made a mistake in open play with a ‘knock on’. New recruit Cuba picked up the ball and ran straight for the line pacing the three chasing players scoring the try near the posts. As the game entered into its last 5 minutes of the match our continued asset was again our lineouts, which we have worked hard in training for speed of movement and lift, this was replicated on the field as the maul quickly set up driving forward. The ref blew his whistle for a third try for OCs and by the number 3… Chris O’Malley!
The referee blew his whistle for the final time and players from both sides on and off the field shook hands after a good performance by both teams in particular Battersea. Lots to work on for OCs as attention to detail will be the focus point in training ahead of our much anticipated first home league game against Maidstone.