This was always going to be extremely difficult. Aside from a weak 10 min spell early on, we managed to defend with courage, and push them about at times. For the most part, our tackling was solid. Yverdon brought a breed of runners in their backs that’s simply not Ligue B material, and it showed. Their angle of running, and acceleration, really were amazing. And things to emulate…
Despite the pressure, the scrum – often going backwards – still managed to present our scrum half with the ball. Lineouts were extremely poor, and we all know it. Our backs did their best against a great defense, and they themselves defended well. When they had the opportunity to run, it was great. They kicked well in attack, using spaces and keeping the ball in play. This sort of pressure on Yverdon’s back 3 was essential.
With so many new players, everyone on the pitch knowing exactly what to do is not possible right now. Despite this, the adaptability of new guys Saturday was so impressive. Well done, Newbies!
In the end, conceding fewer tries than Fribourg did is a message in itself: both in terms of how we compared against Yverdon to a Ligue A team from 2011/12, but mainly in terms of raising our expectations.
– Forwards, listen to your forward leader and scrum half. At the breakdown, when the ball is lost, expect to be told where to go.
– We need greater awareness of “Second Wave” defense. From the breakdown, our backs will attack their ball carriers. Behind our backs, there must be a wave of forwards not in the previous ruck or maul. Whether our backs miss a tackle, or tackle and a ruck is formed, those few forwards in the second wave are absolutely essential.
– Forwards, think “4&4” or at least “5&3”: unless defending on our line, the forwards should never be in a group of 7 or 8. Spread out; anticipate where the ball is going to be in 3-4 secs. Be there!
– Across the team, RCL needs to tackle lower. Forget the perfect dump tackle; just get him down! If he pushes you back 1-2 meters, so what? The effect of failing to ground him is that our whole defense line has to retreat and reorganise in a panic. Further, if he stays up, they have the golden opportunity to form a maul…
– Only when RCL get annoyed and angry do we play with the aggression required at this level. It took some excessive stamping and a few punches form Yverdon for us to wake up. Pity. How can we ensure we get to that level of intensity by ourselves?
– Body positions in rucks – for the whole ruck, not just the first second. Again, we won’t repeat ourselves…you know what you need to do…
– Backs did not ruck sufficiently. All backs should both be able to, and have the hunger to, ruck like a flanker. Don’t wait, just hit! Being the first into the ruck can hold it up for that one second that is essential for ball-retention.
– Lineouts: unless it’s deep in our half of the pitch, we compete at all defensive lineouts – 2 men up! If you’re unsure of your role, ask!
– We’re reacting faster at the breakdown. Let’s continue to improve on that.
– Pick & Go was often too high. Take the ball with low body position, drive with your legs, aim for their knees. Simple.
Result: RCL1 0 – 45 Yverdon.
Man of the Match: Junior (nominated: Tobias, Nico)
Twat of the Day: Wurst (those tights(Strumpfhosen), pitch painting, and a few more things we have forgotten…); Kuno (nominated)