The Last pre-season shakedown
OAs came second in this last pre-season shakedown match against a powerful Chinnor side who, it seems agreed, will struggle to lose any of their forthcoming encounters in National Two South. The day could have been a lot worse for the visitors and Coach Gavin Hogg was looking to the positives of a torrid battle.
“We were missing two props and no less than seven second row players this week so the performance of those selected was a revelation. They really stood up and were counted against a much bigger pack and I’m proud of them”, he said.
“We knew Chinnor were going to play from one set piece to the next so our job was to control possession in between”, he added. “For much of the afternoon we achieved this but at other times we kicked away good possession and we made one or two handling mistakes.”
Gavin also made the point that Albanians will have to start each match much quicker to ensure it’s their opponents who are under pressure, not the Woollams men.
Generally, the team’s defense stood up well to the severe battering, the lineout worked well and breakdown play had plenty to commend it. There is also some serious pace in the backline, particularly the back three. Those returning to the side over the next weeks will reinforce this.
There will probably be little difference in intensity next week when OAs tackle Rosslyn Park. It is important for this new side to start the campaign well and work will be done to fine tune matters during the week. Kickoff at Woollams 15.00hrs.
|Chinnor Rugby Club|
|Chinnor Rugby Club, Kingsey Rd, Thame OX9 3JL|