Monday, 31 December 2012

ABC Gloucester Match Thoughts

A.  Long wait between kicks

Geordan Murphy’s 53 minute penalty was his first points from a place kick (as opposed to a drop kick) for almost 3 years.  The last time was a conversion against London Irish on March 6 2010, Lote Tuqiri’s last match.  The last penalty he kicked was almost 7 years ago against Bristol in May 2006 which was also the last time he was first choice kicker. 

B.  Scrum Half most important player on the pitch?

Tigers looked completely lost when Ben Youngs was yellow carded, his second in two weeks but only his third in Tigers colours in over 100 games.  Without a player to boss the forwards and control the flow of the ball to the backs Tigers didn’t know whether they were coming or going.  They struggled to clear the ball from their own half or use it from scrums.  It was a similar story in the 2011 Final against Saracens when Anthony Allen’s poor pass and Hamilton’s poor kick gave them the chance for the kick throw from which they scored the only try.  Compare that to the ten minutes we played without George Ford which was arguably the best 10 minutes of the game!  In his absence Allen and Murphy could slot in and if they were missing Youngs could simply hold the ball in the ruck or use his forwards.  The disruption was minimal. 

In the second half of a big game I think you should bring your other scrum half straight on, and worry about sorting out the backline when the ten minutes are up.

C.  Another Sell Out

Saturday was the second Sell Out of the year, and Toulouse looks to be fast approaching a third.  With the last game of the season a likely fourth Tigers are looking like getting back to the old days when a season ticket was a required purchase to see the big games.  Many people, even long serving Tigers like Dusty Hare, scoffed at the club for building such a big stand and having even grander ambitions, but thanks to the work of the Ticket Office, the Community department and the of course the likes of Cockers, Toby Flood and Manu Tuilagi we are up to 14,600 season tickets and the Sold Out signs are becoming a regular sight once again.

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