Diss U14's vs Holt - Norfolk Plate semi final
By Peter Allott
You can't win without the ball
A frustrating end to the U14's 2019 Norfolk Cup campaign with a 7:37 loss to Holt at home.
Despite a number of weeks of training the boys failed to take these lessons onto the pitch and fell foul of the same issues that have held them back all season. The simple truth is that they have yet to learn that to win a game (or even compete) they need to have the ball, and once they have got it to retain it. This match had the same pattern as many others with Holt having c80% of the possession. This was not because Holt were particularly strong or steamrollered Diss, it was because most times when Diss finally got the ball they instantly gave it back to their opponents at the first contact/ruck. Added to the loss of most scrums, simple penalties, there was only going to be one outcome. It is even harder to bear because this is a match that the boys could have easily won. They have the talent inside....but can't yet work out that this is a team game and most of it is played without the ball.
Hard lessons and it is tough for the coaches to see - one feels for them. Responsibility must rest with the players to take on board the simple training points about ball retention and support - something we will have to come back to as results will not change until these points are understood and put into play on the pitch.
There were some positive aspects with the team starting brightly and also closing the match strongly. Unfortunately, it was the filling in the sandwich that mattered.