It’s fair to say that Saturday’s Grand Final wasn’t our best performance as a team. We were outplayed and outmuscled by a team who played a smarter technical and tactical game. What didn’t we do? We didn’t adjust on the field and we succumbed to the pressure of playing in the ‘big show’. It’s not that everyone didn’t try their best – everyone did, but the pressure of being in a Grand Final really showed and it seemed like we went into our shell and after a couple of quick tries from our opposition we didn’t adjust or get our mojo back.
It’s hard to single out players as all tried their hardest with our points going to the following:
• 3 Points: Kye Blair who played Openside Flanker, Scrum Half and Hooker during the match;
• 2 Points: Ben Francis who played Lock, No.8 and Prop; and,
• 1 Point: Harry Magriplis who played Scrum Half, Fly Half and scored our only try.
• CCJRU Player of the Match: Michael Houssenloge, our starting No.8!
So there were some positives to come out of this loss!
However, I said in the sheds post-match to the team, that they were a great bunch of young men who were an absolute pleasure to coach. Who would have thought that last year this was a Baa Baa’s team! This year the team grew in numbers and absorbed some players from other clubs who have now become family to us. They worked on their skills, looked at developing a style of play that is more akin to senior teams than juniors, and tried to build a game understanding of the ‘why’ behind the ‘what’ and ‘where’. They did good with a 451 points FOR and 227 points AGAINST; that’s +224 points, which is great in any team’s language!
My final thought is that we always said this year, “gracious in victory, humble in defeat”. This mantra built us as players, as a team and we definitely showed this throughout the season, and following this Grand Final loss. I am so proud of how the players conducted themselves throughout the season and how they represented OUR Club.