Well a game against Harlequins is always a test of how far we’ve come and what we still have to learn and the game we played on Saturday was no different.
First the good: this game showed again how well we do when we run straight and back up the ball carrier. There were some lovely tries scored by Kiwi Hawthorn off the back of good straight running and quick passes when tackled.
And our tackling and clean out work continues to improve and probably most impressive of all, we play with tremendous heart, even when the other team find a way to run in more tries than us! This is more important than anything else.
But we also learnt some important lessons this week: we must hold on to the ball tightly when we get tackled and secure it for our team mates. Too many times Harlequins ripped the ball off us. But they have now taught us how to rip and watch out Eltham, ’cause we are going to rip and rip that ball this Saturday!
Our Captain for the week was Ezekiel and he did a great job, leading the boys around the paddock, swerving and dazzling the opposition with his footwork and making tackle after tackle. Go Zeik!
Also making some beautiful tackles this week: Charlie Russell. One of our most prolific ball carriers, you can see why people travel thousands of kilometres to watch him play!
Darcy was never far from the action, saving tries and making an impressive Sonny-Bill style chicken wing pass to set up one of the tries of the game.
Billy was his usual abrasive self, upsetting the opposition with his work at the break down. I had a call from Michael Cheika following the match saying that’s just the sort of muscle he needs up front with the Wallabies. I had to say Billy was too important for our team at this stage of the season to let go. Maybe the Spring tour.
Lucas was grinning and winning and huffing and heaving, using his size to win the maul for us and when he gets the ball and runs as fast as he can straight for the line, he is unstoppable.
Devonte’s footwork is so fast, it’s just a blur in the pictures we have. He doesn’t just run rings around the opposition, he hypnotizes them and by the time they wake up, he’s past them and over the try line.
Which just leaves us with the medal winner for best clearout of the day: Adonai. In a game where the ball was constantly being contested on the ground, Adonai constantly stepped up and cleaned out the opposition and won the ball for his teammates. His Papa must be teaching him something right!
Next week: Eltham B at home.