Exmouth coach speaks after defeat to Dings Crusaders leaves Cockles well adrift at the foot of the table
11:25 22 January 2014
Exmouth coach John Hill spoke after the defeat to Dings Crusaders.
He began by saying: “The game ended in disaster for us. It was hard to take for we had done so much hard work in difficult conditions to put ourselves in a position to win an important game. There are no hiding places from the fact that we left ourselves a fair amount to do having gone into a 15 point deficit with five minutes remaining in the first half. It pretty much characterised our season to date when their second row decided to kick the ball which we charged down and the charge down landed directly in their wingers hands standing ten-metres away and he promptly ran 50-metres unopposed to score in the corner!”
He continued: “This, along with a very good shout for another penalty try for ourselves, and at least a sin-binning for any one of a number of the Dings players for repeated offences inside their own 22, we felt slightly aggrieved with. It does seem we get more than our fair share of things go against us at crucial times. That said, however, we only have ourselves to blame for not converting pressure into points when we were camped on their try line for good 15 minutes spell in the second half at 18-12 down. We failed to execute a driving maul when pouring forward, we lost control of a five-metre scrum when going forward, and we dropped the ball over the try line when we had rumbled 20 metres forward with our pack.”
“These were all crucial areas of the game where we made critical errors at a massively important time. We lacked a little composure and also a level of accuracy in our play that could and should have seen us take the game when we have the opportunity to grasp it with both hands. We will certainly be working on our strike rate in the final third in training this week in preparation for what can now only be described as a must win period of two games, away at Shelford, and at home to Redruth.”
“Credit must go to the officials for allowing the game to take place, and also for allowing it to flow wherever possible. Of course in those difficult conditions it would have been very difficult to recognise who was who at times! We are of course somewhat disappointed with one or two decisions that did not go our way. What we have to do is improve the things that we can control, and that certainly would be our ability to convert pressure into points which has cost us vital points in recent weeks, as well as the season as a whole.”
On the subject of the Cockles trying to fit in the Devon Cup tie with Barnstaple, Hill said: ““We shall await information from the Devon RFU regarding the senior cup and appreciate that it is a very difficult time for all involved due to the number of cancellations. I note that Barnstaple were cancelled again on Saturday and there’s very few available dates. I think myself and Steve Perry (Barnstaple RFC coach) will just have to have a boat race with a pint of ale to decide on who goes through!”