Hollybush 26 Cwmcarn 0
A depleted Cwmcarn visited Hollybush and for once the elements weren’t playing havoc with my hair. Hollybush is never the easiest place to visit; with a very vocal partisan crowd on hand to cheer on their team & a huge slope on the pitch (only beaten by Gordano, Bristol). Just before kick-off we got the bad news that it would be passive scrums as Hollybush couldn’t put out a front row. Looking at their team, it was easy to see why: They were a bunch of fresh-faced youth & I was probably the combined age of their three youngest players. This would be the second passive scrum game in three matches (A bit like boxing with jazz hands on).
Carn reluctantly took to the pitch & unfortunately took a dejected attitude with them. With scrum ball guaranteed it was easy for the youngsters of Hollybush to disrupt Carn ball within a second of it leaving the scrum. Sadly we had no plan B (in fact we currently don’t have a plan A for passive scrums). To be fair to Hollybush, they played like they wanted to win & Carn were too busy feeling miffed at the lack of contested scrums to actually adjust to the game that was unfolding.
Carn were frequently driven back in the tackle due to too much slow deliberate ball that was pretty much telegraphed with a stamp on. Hollybush, on the other hand had pace to burn & used this to their advantage by punching holes in the defence. They played a simple game to good effect: Close down space straight away & kick & chase. Not pretty, but effective. As soon as the ball was kicked there were several players in hot pursuit harassing the backs trying to run the ball back. Carn on the other hand didn’t manage to put our big ball-carriers into space once. Hoppy could have clattered these whippersnappers’ early doors & made them think twice for the rest of the game. Sadly neither he, Buss or Todd The Tank saw the ball with a head of steam & with that, Hollybush confidence grew.
All four tries scored by Hollybush were gifted too easily. Yours truly managed to kick the ball over the try-line instead of touch whilst chasing back another one of their kick & chases. This all stemmed from yet another mistake and Carn were being turned over in the tackle far too easily. It was almost embarrassing at times. A petulant kicking away of the ball after the ref blew up for a knock-on led to yet another penalty against Carn – A quick tap penalty & three passes later & Hollybush were in for their fourth try.
Being shorn of four key personnel in the space of a month has hit us hard & halted the momentum we had before Christmas, but Carn either need to hit the weights or front up better in the matches to come & use the gain-line breakers instead of running down blind alleys. Coach ‘Blakey’ Gough alluded to this at half-time, only for Carn to continue with the same failing game plan. All in all a bit of a shocker really.
No-one dressed themselves in glory, but Cameron ‘Tigger’ Jones was always looking for work & recognised that going blind was creating the most opportunities for us.
We wish our player coach Ieuan ‘Vic’ a speedy recovery
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