Due to the overnight frost it was always touch and go if this game would start, however in the end we started on a glorious afternoon with, thanks to Neil, great pitches for running rugby. Illness and injury had robbed us of Arjun, Raymond, Elliott and Dan but with no 2nds I had a number of available replacements only too willing to step up. The problem with rugby is the uniqueness of the positions and the skills required so for Nick and Luke it was a first run out in the centres. Toby was back at prop and did very well at both set and loose.
The game started and straight from the kick off the impressive Zac C ran full 60m bursting tackles and putting down a real marker before the forwards won the ruck, as they did all game, with Zac R going over for the opening score. The next kick off followed a similar pattern with Big Ben E making the initial burst with great support from Austin. Again the pack generated quick ruck ball and once again Zac R went over for the score, (10 – 0). It looked very much as if it was going to be a comfortable afternoon but no such luck as Lancing came flying back with 2 scores of their own (10 – 12). The way that the boys refocused was very impressive as we went back to basics winning good ball through the forwards for the backs to run some good lines. Further tries from Zac R and the impressive Zevon put the boys well on top by half time (24 – 12).
Lancing were a big side, but our boys, even the smaller ones, simply ran got tackled and got up and ran again which showed real character. We had 4 clear scoring opportunities but unfortunately we managed to miss the chances so it was not until late in the half that we made the game safe with another Zac R try. Despite the loss late on of the irrepressible Zac C we held out for a good win against a very powerful Lancing 29 – 19.
It is so encouraging when you can say that there was not a single Copthorne player who did not give his all today and the improvement has been so rapid and with that comes greater confidence to try things. Bradley and Dan T are clear examples of this increased confidence. The forwards to a man were immense and a very happy coach is looking forward to the next challenge. Once again thanks for all your support and medical expertise!