31 — 3
Albanians missed chances at crucial timesIntensity is an attitude of mind; you either have it or you haven’t, you either do it or you don’t. You can also be intense in part and this last statement sums up the Albanian performance last Saturday in South London.
Gavin Hogg said after the match “Every mistake we made seemed to be punished!” He was quite right but it was not surprising. The Head Coach espouses the game plan which should take advantage of securing broken play and building attacks out of nothing or, at least, opposition mistakes. James Shanahan, erstwhile Woollams boss, has a similar mindset and, quite simply, in this error strewn encounter, the Blackheath version outgunned that of their visitors.
It does not take long these days to rack up a shedful of points what with the development of the offloading game, recent law changes and the like. So the points difference between the sides is not necessarily a bother to OAs coaching team. What is likely to exercise them more is the try difference: five against zero.
There will be two areas of concern. Firstly Albanian missed chances at crucial times put the visitors under unnecessary pressure. Secondly, every coach will analyse a defence which is punctured five times. As previously stated intensity levels will also be looked at before the visit of Esher next week. It is also worth noting that weekly personnel changes can’t be helping continuity but the management have little control over that.
Once more the pack acquitted itself well in the tight and at the lineout and defense, bar the above, was not unsprightly. Unforced errors, and those caused by opposition pressure, will never allow a side to settle down and there were plenty of both at Well Hall.
The intensity question was raised again as Blackheath began each half in determined fashion, Tom Baldwin and Jake Lloyd crossing within ten minutes of the start, the latter after an almost perfunctory overlap. Joe Tarrant converted both safely.
Tom Bednall notched a slick penalty and heralded the best passages of play by the visitors but 14-3 it was at the break.
Club repeated the dose after the restart. First Tarrant converted his own effort before James Hallam forced his way to the line. Finally Tarrant’s half back partner Josh Davies escaped down the right touchline.
The last quarter was played almost exclusively in Blackheath territory. This did not unduly bother the excellent home defence.
Next week’s kickoff 15.00hrs.
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