Sunday 20th October 2013 –“Training day” (Not like in the Denzil Washington Movie).
“All our dreams can come true–if we have the courage to pursue them.” Walt Disney.
“I am always doing that which I cannot do, in order that I may learn how to do it.” Pablo Picasso.
“Many of life’s failures are experienced by people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.” Thomas Eddison.
“I’ve missed more than 9,000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times, I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” Michael Jordan
“You’re defending! Flat! Move up as a line!……balls out!……….. Flat!!” Justin Kyriakou.
After the trials of last week’s tournament and the inevitable critique of the rights and wrongs on our trip to Manchester; we find ourselves back on local “shores” with a damp Sunday drizzle for company. The foreboding games with Lymm and Waterloo on the horizon; the focus to prepare and practice for these encounters are firmly in all out sights. It might seem strange to have a match report when the only competition was Hopper versus Hopper with a smattering of able bodied and “one legged pirate” impersonating coaches on the fringes, but today saw the beginning of the more detailed study of forward and back play; with the line out and the miss move being incorporated into the usual drills.
From a distance it appeared that the forwards were looking to bring a focus on the controlled and supportive line out. The backs were looking at the use of the miss move and quick recycling of the ball to advance beyond the gain line (For those new to Union we will hold a master class next week over a warm coffee). The opening warm up and drill sessions appeared to show some promise. Despite the slippery conditions and following several “encouraging words” from the coaches, the maintenance of the flat defensive line, drift defence and short quick passing ball play was excellent. As in most of the historical fixtures the boys seemed to need a short amount of time to “unwind” and their concentration, skills and performance was consistently improved the longer the session went on.
The whites versus Greens game saw some promising running play and belligerent defence from both sides. Again many of the concerning missed tackles and persistent play in the lower 1/3 of the pitch were seen at times; but once straight running and man marking as opposed to “ball watching” was employed the teams looked a whole different entity.
Speaking honestly I cannot recall the scores; let alone the scorers, but a number of excellent running plays, fierce tackles and recycling back to position from rucks and mauls allowed something for the spectators to cheer about.
Going forward, we have some tricky encounters on the radar that will need to match the determination and skills seen in the training sessions carried to the competitive arena. We have some weeks left before our first Lancashire cup game and with this in mind we will need to pull out all the stops to reach the dizzying height as coveted by our local neighbours Warrington
So with this in mind (for those whom have read this on the PGRFC website) it would be pertinent to get some thoughts from the fans. With each of these reported there is a proceeding section that offers the opportunity for feedback to be given to these brief observations from the coaches. Some of the greatest critics of the boys, coaches and opposition are the parents, peers and supporters of the team. Due to my own unforeseen side-lining many really useful suggestions have been discussed during the sessions; but as with all good ideas they can only be realised if that message/observation is shared. So we would encourage all of our supporters to have a say on what they think, feel and see we as a team are doing – and more importantly how we can do it better in the future. Again there is no doubt that we have a large, experienced and committed team of players, coaches, friends and families. With this in mind perhaps if we share our observations and translate this into our games/training sessions we all might feel more involved and responsible for the success that is “just around the corner”.
“WHO ARE WE?” – (ALL RESPONSES TO THE HOPPERS WEBSITE PLEASE).