Saturday 3 May 2014 – 3.00pm
Adams Park, High Wycombe
Aviva Premiership #21
Well, we’re finally scoring tries! Another haul of five at Adams Park yesterday but it wasn’t quite enough to get that elusive Premiership win.
A roaring 0-17 start in the first thirteen minutes and all was going well until either the Falcons switched off or Wasps switched on, and the hosts scored 29 points without reply. We then scored another fourteen, Wasps scored fifteen, and the finally the late fifth try got us a second bonus point.
It sounded a fantastic game on the radio – fortunately, the internet held up despite having been slow for over a week now and BT dragging their heels in sorting it out. On the back of Gloucester and Saracens, surely we now know that attack is the way to go and if we can go out and take the game to Exeter next week, then a victory is possible and season ticket sales will go up.
We could ask where this has been all season but there’s no point doing that, hopefully the change in mentality is permanent. If we can get the plastic pitch laid over the summer, then one more excuse for negative rugby will be removed.
As Dai Young said post-match though, both defence coaches will be concerned after yesterday’s game. Although we have conceded big totals before this season, that was with far less of the ball, and not always in spells like yesterday. Perhaps the players did just switch off a couple of times.
That said, Wasps are a good team and are going for a Champions Cup place through a play-off, so a six-point losing margin is not an absolute disaster. If our defence had held out a bit better yesterday and at Kingsholm, we’d have won those two games. In many other games, including Wasps and Gloucester at home, a better attack and we’d have won. So if we’d put everything together in these four games we could have had four wins.
No use talking about what-ifs though. Hopefully things are starting to come together. Joel Hodgson apparently had a cracking game yesterday and the commentators were encouraging Dean Richards to get the lad signed up. Another good display against Exeter will surely seal a new contract for Joel. He isn’t perfect, no player is, but he is by far the most creative of our fly-halves and I don’t think it’s a coincidence that we’ve got our first Premiership try bonus points in years when he’s been on the field.
Other than that, it has been suggested that we struggled a bit after Gonzalo Tiesi went off, which perhaps shows he has been valuable as a defender in recent months despite only playing a few games. Regardless of who comes in this summer, I think in Tiesi and Sinoti we have a couple of gems.
So now it’s Exeter at home on the final day of the season, with no worries about relegation, hopefully the team will go out and continue to play with the freedom they have more often recently, and if our losing run extends to sixteen games, at least it’ll be entertaining and there will be more signs that we might be moving in the right direction.
(Follow The South Stand Choir on Twitter: @SouthStandChoir)