47 — 31
A Good workout for both squads
Old Albanian 47pts Leicester Lions 31pts.
New Head Coach Gavin Hogg announced himself happy with the squad’s first outing of the new campaign when visitors Leicester Lions from National Two North gave his charges a more than feisty examination on a warm afternoon at Woollams.
It is never easy for the new man at the helm and things are made doubly difficult when there are so many new recruits in the playing squad. On Saturday no fewer than fourteen players took part in OA colours for the first time out of a total of twenty six involved. Whilst there are the usual early concerns about squad makeup Gavin was delighted with the attitude of all and the energy expended.
There is already tremendous competition for places and Ross Hamilton was singled out for praise with his squad leadership yesterday.
The OA playing philosophy has not changed and spectators will be pleased to note that attacks will be generated from anywhere on the field. To facilitate this there will be an increased urgency to recycle possession at the breakdown to give every opportunity for a speedy back division to get to the opposition line. Gavin was, for the most part, happy with yesterday’s breakdown work given it was the first time of asking.
Similarly he was mostly content with tight play. Scrum and lineout worked well, at least for the first hour and this will continue to be a focus for forwards coach Gregg Botterman before the opening league match.
It has to be said that defence is more of a concern and the coach made the point that 31 points were shipped. This will not help in a league situation and work will be done to ensure matters improve.
To sum up, this somewhat disjointed performance was not unexpected. There are great strengths and potential in this untried group who start the league battle against Rosslyn Park at Woollams on September 2nd. More immediately Bury St Edmonds are the next opponents in Suffolk 19th August kick off 3pm
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