It is so difficult to quantify what is missing from any one performance made by a team on a field. Sometimes, from the outside the armschair experts among us, coach included, believe they have the solution – I repeat, the solution, the one which will change the tide of fortune. It always looks much more simple from the outside than it really is from the inside – when as a player you are totally invested in the outcome of the game. Winning is of course what the player desires more than anything else. The victory, the pride in having defeated an honourable opposition and being able to take away the sense of satisfaction at a job well done. Sometimes the difference between those victories and losses is a matter of split-second judgement, indecision, or adequate preparation for the contest? Are these coaching questions, or player questions, or match-day questions, or simply luck? Sometimes it is simply the latter.
All this having been said, Wurenlos make their luck too. They defended well in the second half of the match proving to have a very good line of defence almost on a paar with Luzern’s. It was interesting to see how Luzern responded to similar tactics they deployed in 2014 when causing major frustration to teams by virtue of their defensive strengths. These need to be honed once more in order not to concede too much territory before opposition players are finally brought to ground – a notable aspect in RCL’s defensive play. Here a slight fissure has opened up and needs to be welded.
Much of the first half went RCL’s way. The played the greater part of the first forty in Wurenlos territory and when forced to defend in their own twenty-two did so valiantly. However, there always seemed to be that last pass missing, or the final pair of hands and feet able to get into space and break for the line. For, it was a dominant aspect of the first half that RCL were able to break through the defensive line only to be brought up short in the execution of an attack by lack of support or a lack of efficiency from the back of the ruck – slow ball hampered the whole team being able to exploit numerous opportunities for overlaps to be exploited – and there were quite a few.
The second half belonged to Wurenlos, who really seemed to turn up the intensity in their game in this half. Their backs came into their own and made their presence felt, whilst the rucking too was much more aggressive eliciting a response from RCL who responded well to the rucks and were more than able to counter-ruck a counter-ruck at times. But still, there was a stablising presence missing in the breakdown at times – a real sense of direction – but this is something that may emerge as the games are played and RCL as a team re-defines itself anew after having suffered so many injuries in the latter half of the autumn. Matthias’s throwing in and the catching and delivery of clean ball to the nine are most worthy of mention in this short appraisal of the game. If the team can maintain its patience, forgoe personal desire for team effort, RCL will be able to see a number of victories chalked up in the coming months – perhaps in the most surprising circumstances too. There are no short-term solutions to growing a long-term team constellation that can go into 2016 with the knowledge and experience of itself as a team confident in its ability on any Saturday. But for now, a repeat peformance of the first half is in order.