Should I stay or should I go?
By LI Bohemian
November 27 2018
I was in two minds whether to attend the match on Sunday, as most of Saturday was spent watching the Autumn Internationals. It is said that watching live sport, is like watching true theatre, although some plays are a lot better than others.
It was a last minute decision to go, so as I sat down in the premium seat of my choice (the place was empty) it was just as the teams jogged onto pitch.
I poured a cup of tea from my flask, carefully so not to spill, took a sip and noticed that we were 5points down, I did look to the players tunnel to see if Irish had started with a full complement.
After this initial set back, Irish picked up a bit and scored two converted tries through the work of their forwards the first from the line-out maul, the second from a good scrummaging platform.
The feeling was that Irish would keep the pressure on, above the noise of the cheering faithful you could hear the sound of a comedy balloon making that rasping sound, this was of course the seeping of the Irish teams intensity and concentration. There was also a smaller comedy balloon that contained the Officials grasp of the laws and game management, which leaked more as the game progressed.
Bedford on the other hand started to put some good work in, they stuck to a game plan of unloading the ball in the tackle, moving it through fast rucks and then whisking it out wide whenever possible, this was to me, their downfall as they had not moved the Irish line enough to pull defenders in.
My guess is that Bedford thought Irish were more vulnerable out wide, to combat this, Myler was positioned centrally behind the Irish defensive line, conducting the positions of the players on the flanks, this worked well.
The line-out for Irish was good, specially the throwing in, the scrum creaked a bit in the first half but dominated in the second half, for all that it was a stuttering performance from Irish, butchering many chances to score, now most will put this performance down to the Irish backline, my thoughts on this are that the Centers are both new to each other, it takes time. The thing that makes them look worse is the slow service from the Scrumhalf and to a lesser extent, the creeping forward of the opposition going unpunished.
The box kicking and kicking out of hand were well below par.
Bedford got back into the game and by the mid point of the second half, were within one score of going ahead.
Substitutions were made which stirred Irish enough to score another try, then get pushed back to their own twenty-two and as the pressure built up, so did a few mystery penalties leading to a yellow card for Blair Cowan.
Bedford pressured the Irish line but never had the finish to get the score.
Bit of a forgettable game but a good run out for the two youngsters in the backline Williams and Hassel-Collins and another chance to get the new signing Terrence Hepetema settled in, didn’t lose.pqs: qs:
If you do not already have an account Click here to Register.
I think another problem with the backs is that we are playing much too flat (which is odd given that the only real complaint about Smyler from the Saints fans over the years was that he played too deep!).
As a result our centres are not coming onto the ball either at pace or in space, and it also results in no pull-back pass moves.