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Monday Morning Quarterback View

Updated: Apr 2, 2021

Another defeat but far from the blowout many had predicted. The class team of our league came to town. Shorn of most of their starters, but with backups that would comfortably see off many of their opponents first teams. Based on the number of players our squad had unavailable, it seemed advisable to watch this one from behind the sofa, but Booth teams do not look like they will give up and roll over.

For the first time this season we made a fast start and brought the physicality that was so sadly absent from last week in Italy. Unfortunately, we let Leinster gain a foothold in the game through silly and unnecessary mistakes. A pulling down of a maul that was going nowhere, on halfway, by Bradley Davies gave them the springboard for the first try. An errant line out, followed by defending of the outside centre and right wing channels that would have embarrassed one of our RAG teams saw us lose the lead ,and after a blatant forward pass on the inside was not called we found ourselves trailing 19 to 7 at the break.

With the team visibly tiring the bench was used well and whilst it is always hard to put bench performances in context, there were some encouraging cameos. If next week's team is based on performance on the paddock then Callum Carson Rhys Davies and Ifan Phillips would be on the starting sheet ahead of some big reputation players, who have not performed up to their reputations. Shaun Venter also looked the part, and given some of the terrible defending we have seen from our back three, it is surprising he has not been used there, where he has played to a high standard before converting to scrum half.

There were two absolute standout performances worthy of special mention. Matt Protheroe was a standout in so many aspects. His acceleration and footwork are from the top drawer and his courage belies his size. Dan Lydiate playing out of position at 7 left nothing out there. Back row is one area where we are struggling to match the dynamism of the rest of the league and the quality behind Dan and Tips looks a little light at this level and must surely be one of the areas on which recruitment will be focused.

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