It was a scrappy game with very little exciting rugby on display. Despite both sides boasting expatriate players, the game seldom reached any level of fluency with most of the moves being disjointed at best.
Matters were not helped further with the ineptitude of the assistant referee. Once again the need for the officials on duty to be wired and hence in communication with each other is required.
As I have said before, the Rugby Union must look at garnering sponsorships to take the game forward by introducing video evidence.
The CH expatriate centre was a tower of strength and made many incisive runs into the opposition territory. The lack of support was evident in that as soon as he was brought to ground, the move was effectively snuffed out.
Thus, the ability for the side to work on second and third phase ball was nonexistent.
The same could be said of the Havies efforts. The burly number 8 made many breaks but the forwards support was lacking and he found himself isolated and brought to ground.
Two of such efforts resulted in tries more due to the sheer weight, strength and determination of the individual as opposed to team play.
As we all know rugby is a team game and whilst it is enjoyable to see individual brilliances at times, the rugby purists would like to see quality ball handling skills of the team on display that eventually results in a score.
We also witnessed a fair amount of kicking during the game yesterday. A majority of it was aimless, whilst on very few occasions they were tactical and achieved the desired result.
The need to retain ball and make it available for second and third phase play was lacking.
If one looks at the current international rugby scene, high quality ball retaining skills can be observed with tries being scored after eight to 10 continuous phases of play.
The ability to collect the high ball was not as good as it should be and in many instances, one witnessed players attempting to catch the ball running back with the ball coming over their shoulder.
The chances of dropping the ball or making a fool of one’s self in such instances is quite high and that was the case in a number of instances.
Despite the ground conditions being suitable for fast and open rugby, both sides for some unfathomable reason decided to play a rather closed game.
On the few occasions that the ball was spun out wide we witnessed some scintillating runs.
Once again at the tackle situation the ability to retain ball was poor resulting in turnover ball.
In a number of situations we saw the centres collect the ball from a stationary position, and then run across the field more like crabs than rugby players. I cannot fathom the need to run across or run into oncoming forwards when one could pass the ball out wide.
Hopefully the coaching staff will drill in the basics over and over again so that we could witness some quality rugby over the coming weeks.
The poor numbers that turn up to witness a club game as opposed to a school game could be a direct result of the quality of rugby that this churned out.
One wonders if the Royal-Thomian game had a bearing on the low turnout for this game.