It was a game of missed opportunities and poor interpretation of the laws of the game. The difference in the final tally was a single score in favour of the red shirts. The first half indicated that it was ‘Even Stevens’ when in actual fact Havies missed many scoring opportunities. Having camped in CR territory for at least 20 minutes of the first half it was not of any value. A mere 3 points is all they had. Havies were guilty of what CR did in their previous game against Navy.
In the second half CR changed their game plan and reaped the benefits. They were willing to give their back division more ball and two scintillating tries resulted. The Havies appeared to be rattled and CR thrived on this. The high fives that they indulged in after every good tackle was adequate evidence. A factor in the resurgence of Havies this season has been the influx of two expatriates. Whilst the number eight is value for money the same cannot be said of the burly centre. Havies may have to do some soul searching in this regard. The # 8 needs to use his superior weight and strength, to make inroads into the opposition territory. A basic is that one runs into gaps thereby ensuring that you take two of the opposition men down with you. Attempting to bulldoze your way over a single person is foolhardy. The option of the Havies skipper moving to the vital # 8 berth needs to be explored. Where possession is the key, kicking should be adopted for tactical purposes as opposed to providing the spectators with an air show.
One of the strengths of CR was their defence and the try saving tackle by Ishan Noor on the Havies winger was a treat to watch. Having said so, the winger was too upright close to the try line and better body position and anticipation of the cover tackle would have seen him most probably score. Instead he was bundled out to touch in an upright position and spilt the ball in the process as well. The ball handling skills of the Havies was poor. If only they had looked up at the new scoreboard and drawn inspiration from the tag line. The only consolation was that they had the satisfaction of posting the first points on the spanking new score board. A clock on the top will make it complete.
In any game the referee and the two assistants play an important role in ensuring a smooth flow of the game. Alas there were too many inconsistencies in the application of the rules. Those responsible for reviewing such performances must take note if overall quality is to be improved upon. In the process of scoring a try, the ball was placed against the padding that surrounds the uprights at the point that it meets the ground and the try was denied. In another instance the referee’s position made it impossible to see if the ball had been grounded. When Havies were down to 14 men the Number 8 decided to play flanker he was denied this ability - it was permitted at the next scrum.
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