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U16s V Mowden Park 26/11/17

Defiant Defense, But Turned Over


Bishop RUFC Under 16’s team wanted to dominate with their ruck and maul game plan on Sunday 26th November, but Mowden’s game plan proved superior in a 41 – 10 defeat.

Under clear skies, with a strong, cold wind blowing both Bishop and Darlington Mowden Park U’16’s had to deal with a crippling wind chill factor that affected both teams. Darlington were the quicker team to respond and within the first minute put there get quick ball, spin it down the line fast and out-pace the Bishop defense to score an unconverted try. Unfortunately for Bishop this was repeated within the next 5 mins and Bishop found themselves 10 nil down before they had put together an attacking phase of play.

A response was needed and stalwarts Barnes R., and Wiffen J., responded. Barnes was first to the breakdown after the kick off and made an excellent carry, out powering the Mowden defense. Wiffen following up was in a great position to receive a flick pass and made several further meters. Rucking hard on the 22m line Redfern L., forced an error from Mowden that resulted in a penalty. Gallone kicked straight and turned the Bishop scoreboard from zero to three, but still trailing by seven.

Mowden’s game plan now began to bite. With Bishop players under pressure through Mowden being super quick up to the game line, errors and mistakes became all too frequent with Mowden winning too much turn over ball. Using well practiced phases of play the ball was moved through the hands quickly and effectively out pacing and out flanking Bishops defense to leave the score 3-22 at half time.

Highlights from the first half from a Bishop perspective included Skinner O., tackling hard, saving one on the line, Thrower B., picking up a loose ball at full Back and driving forward, and Barker W’s., work rate. Outside Center, Smith M., received the ball in an attacking position out wide and was unlucky to see his running chip and run move breakdown.

Lineouts for Bishop, normally a strong part of their set piece game were under pressure from two aspects. The strong cross wind that hampered a straight throw in and excellent lift and spoiling from Mowden at number 3 in the line. Barker and his lifters had to compete hard to avoid turn over ball.

At the stat of the second half the dominant scrum began functioning again. Front row of McGregor-Taylor G., Wiffen and Barnes proved to be a strong force against their opposite front row. Kitchen E., and Skinner, supported by Watson L., Barker and Hurdley J., have developed into a tight scrimmaging unit. The backs now started to gel better. Redfern used quick ball to Gallone who with an excellent passing eye picked out Centers Kitchen and Smith and at times the Wingers Sidebottom H., and Woodward J., were bought in to the attack.

The first twenty minutes of the second half saw Bishop put their game plan in to better operation. Mauling from set pieces and strong rucking, through several phases of play allowed Bishop to make good ground. Frustration in Mowden’s defense produced several penalties that were again used to move forward positively. Through a succession of set piece plays and good forward drives, Wiffen was able to ground the ball over the try line through a big push from the Bishop Pack. Supporting this attack Sowerby P., Scorer M., and Cant M., on as replacements, made their presence felt. Gallone converted.

As the game played out Hurdley produced a clever run from the back of the pack and Tobin F., on as a replacement also added to some excellent rucking. Mowden responded through the half with further scores to win the game 41 points to 10.

Overall some very good learning points. Bishop players need to sit deeper at times to give themselves more time on the ball and make better un-hurried decision’s. Bishop need to get to the opposition’s game line faster to put greater pressure on their half backs to spoil the flow of the oppositions game. Players, although disappointed at the loss, should take encouragement from their set piece play, their rucking and mauling ability and their kicking in to space. All players need to look up more and develop some thinking time to ensure decisions are sound and in line with the game plan given to them by the coaching staff.


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