Coyote Match Report: Marauders tear up betting slips at Happy Valley
Marauders trained well and came into the game with a good squad and the belief that with hard work we could repeat our effort earlier in the season and take the win from Valley. It would appear the bookies all bet against us.
From the whistle it was a game full of heavy contact. The rucks were a mess with bodies flying over the top, people on the ground and hands everywhere. The Marauders had talked about discipline and not being suckered in jackals at the ruck but this appeared to go out the window after 5 mins. The inability to manage our rucks also resulted in no forward structure as we threw too many bodies into each contact and left no-one for 2nd phase. Frustration grew and the ref found his whistle over and over and decided it was the Marauders at fault.
Unable to adjust to the Valley game plan the ball was turned over too easily and Valley were first on the board with an unconverted try. Newly married Alisdair Jessup went down in a tackle with a dislocated shoulder requiring a trip to the hospital to have it reset.
Marauders managed to hit back with a try to Shaun Tibbats, fresh from retirement, who dove over in the corner to have both teams draw equal. Play continued but the forwards couldn't find a way to counter the Valley tactic of flooding the rucks. Finally the ref had enough and yellow carded Jaffa for ruck infringements, bringing us down to 14 players just before the half.
Valley crossed again to go into half-time up by a try.
The second half started like the first and while Marauders set piece continued to perform adequately, the inability of the forwards to adjust to rucks and get either pods or pick and drives working piled the pressure onto the backs to find the yards.
Valley found space in a kick return to score again making it 17-5. The Marauders continued to throw their bodies at the opposition resulting in Kaiwan needing a visit to the local hospital to have his nose and modelling career fixed. With the clock ticking down the Sandy Bay boys had one last dig, marching Valley down field only to have Coatesy driven over the sideline inches away from a try. The lack of arms in the tackle didn't seem a problem to the officials and with handbags ready to be thrown the ref decided we had played enough.
The team is fully aware that this was a winnable game and our lack of composure and ability to adjust to opposition tactics let us down. We are now in the final few games of the 2019/20 season and playing for a favourable position on the ladder for a shot at the finals. We need to move on from this performance and find our winning ways.