Post Match with John
Tuesday 8th March 2011
Now that might come as a surprise, and an unusual statement from me, but I felt that for the first 25 minutes of the game, we were well on top. We enjoyed large amounts of possession and field position only to come up short on 3 occasions with the line at our mercy. John Cookson was over the line and lost the ball under a heavy tackle, Dayne Donoghue found himself in the same position 5 minutes later, and then Damien Reid only had to find Craig Johnson with a flick pass and we could have been 18 points ahead. We didn't end up coming away with anything for that early pressure and I thought that Workington took that advantage and maybe thought it was their lucky day.
Sure, we missed a few tackles, and gave a few penalties that cost us field position, and eventually points on the board, but as I said to the players at half time, if we could start the second half quickly, but not chase the game, we could catch them late on. I felt that the amount of defending that their big blokes had done early in the game would be beneficial to us later in the game if we could show some patience, build some pressure, and play rugby at the right end of the field.
I was always confident that we had the players to get us the win, and I was never at any point, thinking that the game had gone. In fact, I thought that the first half scoreline did us the world of good, as I felt that we executed on the edges relatively poorly in the first half, by our own standards.
I spoke with some key players about taking us forward and straightening things up, as I felt that there was a lot of opportunity around their middle rather than on the edges.
To end the game in the way we did was very pleasing indeed and the players certainly 'bought into' the points that I made at half time. There is no secret formula to the turnaround, it was all about belief in the systems that we have in place, belief in themselves as individuals and belief in their teammates that got us through.
There'll be no doubt, many more times this season when things don't go as we may have planned, and whilst its always important to have a plan B, its more important for us that we get Plan A correct first.
As for this weeks game, last Sunday's platform gives us the impetus to travel up to Cumbria with confidence. However, as we saw last year, far too many times for my liking, lack of preparation individually will make things difficult for us. Personally, I have made a few changes that will hopefully give us a far greater opportunity to succeed, and of course, if the players travel with the same attitude that won us the game on Sunday, then I expect us to stand a great chance of victory.