NO Lay in on a Sunday
By Gary Cane
Whilst a lay in is a blessing on any weekend it was good to get out there for the first time this term and watch the boys play. We have had some very good training sessions in September and a productive camp so it was good to see all the work we have done on connectivity and shape transfer to a match day.
We were getting some players used to new positions ready for Singapore, using the new scrum call and some line-out options as well as fine tuning the Maul from a line-out in the opposition 22.
Saturday’s contact session definitely helped but it remains an area we will have to struggle through given the size disparity that still exists in our group and in some cases in the opposition we will face at Tanglin.
Our first match didn’t start the way it finished and initially I thought our mindset and grit was what made the difference, after the first couple of tries I think the opposition realised they were out gunned. 12 tries on a Sunday morning and no tries conceded in the first match 4 sessions into the term, i’ll take that any day. The boys looked good and were very conscious of what needed to be fixed.
The player centric change has yielded some good results and the ownership amongst the boys has been excellent.
In fact ownership is in second place to the camaraderie amongst the team. It was good to sit with them and hear the banter after the match, a very positive sign indeed.
The boys went into the second match possibly too buoyed with confidence and although we claimed first blood the opposition answer back with a well taken forwards driving try that no one seemed interested in stopping. The lack of systemised defence around the ruck highlighted by the players themselves was our weak point and it was exploited fully. Looks like we have a game to watch!
The opposition physicality was a big step up from match 1 and from the sidelines it looked to us coaches like the players decided the opposition needed to learn what the Tigers are made of, 3 or 4 thunderous tackles by Aiman, Max, Kurt and Danny B and then an earth shattering hit by Giacomo which probably triggered a tsunami warning in the straits seemed to knock the stuffing out of them. Our 1 try turned into 2 then 3 and by the time the ref blew the final whistle 5 minutes early we were leading 6 tries to 1. I said to Joe Cain that was an old style Leicester 5 minutes ( they were known for beating the opposition up ), he replied Brutal!
I would have to name everyone in the team for their effort and resolve, they were all fantastic and some just seemed to come of age.
Apart from some parts of the defence we looked a class act.
We are on track guys!
When I finally depart this world, a few lines down on my tombstone it will say “coached the 2003 KL Tigers”, i am that proud!
Forwards will get the focus this weekend and we will build up to Tanglin a week later. I am hoping to get some drone footage before the weekend and we may start our session in a hall watching the first match to see where we can improve.
I’ll update you shortly!