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Surrey U20s
Berkshire U20s

2nd Training Match / Match Day Report

A first match at our new home venue and I have to say I was initially a little worried at
9.30am when there was just myself, the team managers and one player sitting there. As
usual though at U20’s level when I state a time range ie 9.30- 10.00am players take that to
mean around the later time. Thankfully by the start of the day we had over 30 players ready
for the match. In addition to the list of injured players from their Saturday games we have
the making of a good squad this season.

During the morning session we really manged to get to grips with the U20’s team structure
and playing style that we want to implement, looking at the partnerships of players and
seeing who played well with whom and try and select a starting 15no.

My plan was to work on 4no 20min sessions against Berkshire giving everyone at least one
opportunity to play. While disruptive to the team it does give me the chance to see what
everyone can achieve.

Our routine for the day after training is to lunch together and then to let the Captain and
players lead their own pre-match meeting. Which Alex Tait our captain again for today led
constructively and gave the boys some points to focus on.

The first 20-30mins Surrey were well on Top and started to run through the game as they
had in training, calling and executing our Structure to the letter.

In defence we were able to pressurise Berkshire early and stifle their attacks.
Scoring two tries in the first half of the match probably lulled us into a false sense of
security. Although one in particular a pick up from the base of a scrum attacking the
blindside form our 8 was to be applauded and did indeed had the supporters on their feet in
approval of the skills displayed.

At each of the 20min time allocation I did move people on and off the pitch and this
probably had an impact on our performance.

Berkshire are a very well drilled team and it showed for the middle 40mins they were able
to turn us around by kicking for territory and playing in our half of the pitch and their
eventual scoring of tries were really very well worked. Certainly on the pitch they were
better able to recognise where our weaknesses and their strengths were and played to

For the last 20mins session we had plenty of opportunity and possession to score and
should have done, but were very naive in our attack selections to win the game.
Berkshire also have to be commended on their defence though as they worked ferociously
to keep us out.

The final score was 20-12 and probably a fair reflection on where we are in terms of team
preparation at this stage of the season.

Certainly there are many players on show that should look to at a play higher level and I
would like to hope that we can play Berkshire again in the later rounds of the competition.

Other points to consider:

- The current U20’s team is a very young squad this season in fact Key players have
moved up from the U18’s squad from before Christmas
- Key players available for the U20’s played matches for their clubs on Saturday were
unavailable due to injuries and fatigue. As there are no club fixtures on the 6th
February I hope these players will be back available for us.
- We have this season been promoted to Cup competition which is a harder level of
play and will take some time for us to fully recognise and react to

In Conclusion:

This was a good starting point and will allow us to build for the rest of the season.
A big thanks has to go to Farnham RFC who hosted both teams brilliantly, the facilities, food
and staff are all to be commended

Bob Dickinson Coach 07970 161864