Stingrays Match Reports: Feb 9, 2019
U16 & U18's: Coach Peter Crick
Very early start for the team on Saturday morning as we headed up to Arroyo Grande for 8:00a.m. Rain had been tumbling down all week so the field conditions were heavy, standing water all across the pitch, ground soft and spongy. AG had left the grass long to slow the players down and nullify our free flowing attacking game. Bringing everyone one down to the same speed. True mud runner course conditions.
Stingrays started off slowly & conceded the first points - a try in the corner off a long powerful run from the AG pack. This woke the players up and we responded with two tries during that first half. Score at half time was 10-5 Stingrays. We needed a tactical change of game plan at half time, one that worked better in these heavy, wet field conditions. We have been training and developing a running, fast, wide open game style, getting the ball to the outside quickly. We really wanted to release the hounds, but the track was far too wet and slow and the ball was the proverbial "wet bar of soap". We changed strategies, kick to the corners to pin AG in their 22m zone and make them play out from there. That's when we could go back to our original pod work and implement our 'piston play' putting them under pressure down by their try line. However, we were unable to do this also. Our play makers were unable to kick to the corners, we continued to run the ball into the teeth of the defense eventually making errors (knock ons etc.) & putting us under pressure in our own half of the field. We eventually scored two more tries and in the second half run out winners 22 to 5.
Back to the blackboard this week at training as more wet weathers forecast. If we want to have successful season this year we need to be able to adapt and change our game plan depending on weather conditions and opposition game plan.
No individual player efforts are mentioned in this report because the ones that did their job and tried to execute the game plan knows who they are and the ones that did not do this also know who they are!! We need full attendance at practice this week so everyone understands the changes in out game plan for this weekends game on Saturday.
U4's: Coach Richard Lotz
The U-14's had a very competitive match today versus a combined team of Santa Ynez and Arroyo Grande at the wet and sloppy pitch in Arroyo Grande.
AG/SY came out strong as they had some 'older players' competing. Due to that we really struggled with our scrums. However, what we did have was ball movement and speed. With Eric's first score and a try by a loaned player the Stingrays had a slim 14-12 halftime lead. AG/SY came out strong and scored to pull ahead but the Stingrays worked together to score with Eric putting down another 5 points right under the posts. The Stingrays then had to up their defensive game. Numerous tackles made by Garo, Davis, Ryan, Nico and Giddeon as well as some quick running by Waylon, Noah and Davis gained a lot of ground. Ultimately Garo scored to final 5 points as time closed out. Ryan made another successful kick (total of 3). Ultimately the Stingrays won 26-17.
Man of the match is Eric for his 2 scores. Best forward is Ryan for many tackles and some game saving kicks. Best back is Waylon who filled in for injured Elias and kept our game moving quickly.
I also wanted to acknowledge that Nick, Joe and a number of other players were playing after being ill during the week. I know that they did not feel great and want to recognize their effort for the team.
We will play the same team again this weekend and hope to get two players back from injury/illness to fill the squad out.