Wednesday, 14 May 2008

Losing Touch

I was really looking forward to touch rugby yesterday. After such a good workout last Tuesday I was champing at the bit to start the "season" and get stuck in. For various reasons, however, it was a most unsatisfactory evening.

Given that it was the first Tuesday of the season there was a certain amount of inevitable chaos as teams sorted themselves out - but having turned up at 7pm it was about 8.15pm before our game kicked off. No problem, you might think - just enjoy watching the first matches on a balmy summer's evening. Except that it wasn't a balmy summer evening. After a week of gloriously warm weather it had decided to turn decidedly chilly yesterday evening and we found ourselves shivering on the touchline, clad only in our new team t-shirts, waiting for our game to start.

When, eventually, it was our turn we found that we were up against a team from Tring - probably the best team in the competition and the same mob to whom we conceded 14 tries last year as they showboated their way to victory. This was not necessarily a problem - after all, we have to play them at some point and it may as well be first up when, perhaps, you might expect them to be a little rusty. No, the problem was that, when facing a team as good as they are, you need your best players on the pitch as often as possible and we palpably failed to do that. Bizarrely enough the issue was that we had too many players (not a problem we've often experienced in the past) - to recap, a touch team consists of 4 men and two women (at least) - and while we had 3 girls rotating for their positions we had something like 10 blokes rotating for the 4 male positions - which meant getting game time was quite an issue for some of our better players while one or two stayed on the pitch well over their limits. For this to work we're going to have to work out how we rotate players to give everyone a fair crack of the whip (assuming we have the same numbers every week).

Anyway, back to the game and the first ten minutes went reasonably well - the score was even 2-2 at one point - before last year's problems of poor defensive communication set in and we allowed the opposition's speedsters to pull our defensive line out of position and isolate our slower players. The second half was therefore a bit of a procession - the final score being 12-2 - a situation not helped by our inability to hold onto the ball when we had it and to use up our six touches.

All in all, then, very frustrating. From a personal perspective I barely got into the game - I probably managed to play about 7 or 8 minutes out of the 40 (more than some) but didn't feel I contributed very much at all, barely working up a sweat. It certainly doesn't feel like I had much of a workout which means that a trip to the gym is called for later today - something I hadn't been planning at all given how I usually feel the morning after.

Still, it can only get better...

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