News from the 1st-XV
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Saturday, 30th September 2017
Old Tonbridgians 41 Andover 14
It was a bad day at the office for Oakwood sponsored Andover as West London side Old Tonbridgians proved too strong for the visitors.
A terrible last half hour undid some very good work by Andover, as once again poor game management cost them dear.
‘If we are to compete against sides at this level, we really need to recognise important parts of the game and react to them in the right way’ Said Director of rugby Andy Waite.
These comments came after Waite had seen his side claw back an early deficit to be just three points behind at the break and then dominate the first ten minutes of the second half, only to press the self-destruct button.
Andover were much changed for this one especially in the backs, but still fielded a strong looking side.
Organisation was affected though, especially early on and OT’s came out of the blocks to expose this weakness.
Their electric back three exploited Andover, scoring two quick tries to take control.
Andover settled after this and began to get their forwards going well in the loose, finally putting the home side under sustained pressure.
The game plan began to work and before long after a series of scrums and drives Charlie Waite fed Lloyd Richards in the centre for a lovely try that Waite converted.
Richards and fellow Welshman Ross Keir look useful signings and along with Evan Roll have added real depth to the options in Andover’s back line.
Andover continued to press and even a further breakaway try from OT’s did not dampen them. For the second quarter Andover had almost unbroken possession and especially up front, OT’s began to creak.
Andover had lots of chances but were guilty of wastefulness, until just before the break Nic Reed drove from a lineout, man of the match Kieran Jenvey flashed the ball to skipper Alex Hibdige and he crashed over for a try, superbly converted by Charlie Waite from wide out.
Half time came and Andover had real hopes of further progress and for the next ten minutes camped in the OT’s twenty-two.
A series of penalties did not lead to the yellow card it should have done, but it was what Andover did with all this possession that was the real problem.
Poor decision making and lack of patience prevented this dominance transferring into points and as Andover failed to score, a wilting OT’s began to believe again.
Living on scraps of possession they soon showed Andover how to be clinical running in two quick tries.
Andover could complain the second of these was down to a hand in the scrum not spotted by the referee, but it would be clutching at straws to put any blame at the official’s door for the way the visitors fell apart after this, allowing OT’s to run in two more scores before the end.
‘I and the other coaches feel quite frustrated at this performance’ Said Waite
‘There are a number of clubs quite close in standard in this league and often the score can seem one sided when actually its small margins that make the difference.’
‘We are plenty good enough as a group of players to be clear of any relegation battle this season, but that’s not enough if we do not get the mental side of the game right.’
‘We simply must stop getting rushes of blood to the head in certain areas, be more patient, trust our game plan and we will progress in this league.’