Final score: Eccles 11 Sale 1
Try scorers for Eccles: Sam (4), Jack (2), Tommy (3), Josh, Lewis
I was trying to figure out the words to describe the performance on Sunday, and in the end, I thought I’d simply paste this which just about covers it!
For me, we continued where we left off against Orrell, but managed to raise our game even further and produce, what I thought, was close to a complete performance. Similar to the Orrell match, the sheer intensity was fantastic and I’m pretty sure the Sale team were all shell-shocked at the pressure we piled on from the start.
Our defence was magnificent, with each and every Eccles player defending like their pocket money depended on it, creating an impenetrable wall which, at times, was forced back just in front of our try line – yet the opposition simply couldn’t find a way through.
On the face of it, the Sale team had a couple of big lads, and one might expect that they would use their size and power to devastating effect. Credit to Eccles, they were like a pack of hyenas all working together to take down larger prey. When defending a restart, they were all up at their opponents before they had a chance to do anything.
Our rucking was excellent again, and definitely could’ve been even more effective, had the Sale coach not implemented a slightly questionable interpretation of the rucking laws, meaning that opposition players couldn’t be cleared away unless there were hands on the ball. Despite this minor inconvenience, we got on with the job at hand and piled on the pressure.
One noticeable improvement for me this week was our attacking play, which was pretty much always well-thought and effective, with little wasteful or risky play and consequently not a great deal of forced errors. The ball was being distributed nicely and there was always plenty of support at the tackle.
Comments from the coach
“Our fantastic win against supposedly superior opposition was without doubt our best performance ever – I would even say it was the best performance I`ve seen from any of our opposition too. From the off our defence and tackling was strong, as was our rucking and attacking play – think their ref in first quarter realised this and started to penalise us a few times for “going over the ball” – surely that`s the point of rucking, to make the ball available !!
Anyway, on to the stand out moments of the match , in no particular order:
Sams jinky runs and his ghost like sidestep eluding opposition players and entertaining the crowd.
Tommy`s no nonsense defence and great straightening of the line
Lewis amazing rucking and clearing out
Josh`s customary tackling way above his weight
Harrys`s straight running at the defence, with good off-loads
Archie`s tackling during a phase in the second period when he was involved in 4-5 consecutive tackles / rucks
Lucas` quick ball from the breakdown and couple of blindside breaks
Charlies awesome tackling (as per Josh) and his dancing feet
Jack`s aggressive running straight into the oppositions line and gaining yards every time, despite 2/3 tacklers
Matteusz` no nonsense “stick it under your arm” running and great support
Judes amazing enthusiasm and fearless attitude, all with a smile on his face.
In summary boys – amazing performance for our 5th win in 6 games this year, against traditionally “stronger” opposition. Lets keep the attitude and commitment going and enjoy the run in to the end of the season….
Finally, as it was his last game, I’d like to take the opportunity to thank Sam for his service this season. Not only is he a awesome rugby player who’s had a positive influence on the team, but he’s a lovely lad too. Thanks Sam!
See you all this Sunday at home to Littleborough !