Coaches Report: Westcliff 14 vs 34 Cantebury
Westcliff will look back at the result from this game as another game lost, rather than a game defeated…..
There was never any doubt that visiting Cantebury side would be a challenge for Westcliff this weekend, and Cantebury certainly delivered the strong running and physical game that they are known for throughout the league.
However it was a series of moments of poor discipline that handed initiative and momentum to Cantebury in an otherwise competitive match. Hogg (late tackle) and Scogs (high tackle) both saw yellow inside the 1st 20 minutes, which enabled Cantebury to cease a 12 point lead using a 2 man advantage to good effect.
Westcliff rallied well, but failed to cover 3 penalty chances from kickable positions, whilst also squandering two good chances to go over with poor handling close to the line. Cantebury making the most of one final effort to build a 0-17 half time score line.
A tough scoreline at half time meant it would always be a tough task for Westcliff to find a way back into the game, and this became even more challenging, when young Fin Doyle was yellow carded for another late tackle. This was again capitalised on by Cantebury taking the score to 0-22 and leaving mountain for Westcliff to climb.
In true Westcliff nature they rallied and made every effort to get back into the game. A drive into the 22 finally being gathered by Jack Hogarth on the 47th minute. The converted try bringing the game to a scoreline of 7-22. This brought another strong phase of Westcliff control, who again but for small errors would have closed the gap further.
Despite their best efforts, it was Cantebury who made the most of a mistake by Westcliff in attack, breaking from their own half and taking the lead away again 7-27.
Westcliff still not done, made another fantastic drive into the Canterbury half, and scrum half Brad Comber darted between a broken Cantebury defence to score another well deserved Westcliff try on 78 minutes. 14-27
With the game almost gone Westcliff began to throw everything at the Cantebury team, and whilst every intention was willing, a mistake in midfield gave the last say to Cantebury, scoring a opportunist try from a dropped pass.
The final score 14-34
Cantebury worthy winners, showing the same clinical edge that saw them promoted to national 1 just a few seasons ago.
Westcliff, will feel that they left too much to do in the second half, and whilst performances are certainly improving, they will be working hard this week to add the required clinical edge to their game play, as they look to secure their first win of the season.