Woodford count cost of poor pre-season

PUBLISHED: 17:22 09 September 2014 | UPDATED: 17:22 09 September 2014

A new rugby season is underway (pic: Mick Kearns/TGS)

A new rugby season is underway (pic: Mick Kearns/TGS)

Mick Kearns/TGSPHOTO c/o 27 Plaiters Way, Braintree, Essex, CM7 3LR - Editorial Use ONLY

London Div 1N: Woodford 17 Chingford 50

Woodford coach Andy Murphy admitted a poor pre-season contributed towards the heavy opening day defeat to Chingford in London One North, as his sides lack of fitness was exposed.

Chingford went 19 points up inside the opening quarter of the game, but Woodford hit back strongly with a penalty try before Johnnie Smith went over, breaking through from the line-out.

However, Woodford’s lack of fitness cost them in the second period as they went on to concede numerous tries in the final 20 minutes.

“The first 20 minutes killed us, we had no confidence in our play and they scored a couple of soft tries,” said Murphy.

“That is a hangover from our bad preparation in pre-season, but we came back into the game well and got a couple of tries.

“We got it back to 19-17 and then our fitness went second half and that was another reason behind the defeat. The last 20 minutes we really got pumped and obviously the scoreline is disappointing.”

Murphy did see positives, not least the fact they were able to trouble Chingford for an extended period in the first half.

He was impressed with several aspects of the forwards too and felt some combinations showed improvement, adding: “I would say there were some positives. The scrum went well and the line-out too.

“Chingford were 19-0 ahead and then we came back. That was a bit of struggle at the start of last year, to score, but we have some good backs now, so that is a positive.

“Yes the combinations did improve. Alex Pollock, in the centre, was very promising and Alex Deagon on the wing is a good finisher, so there are definitely combinations we can work on.”

Murphy did concede, though, that he and his coaching team had got their tactics wrong for the season opener.

“We sent them out with the wrong game plan and we told the boys after, we take responsibility for that,” he added.

“This week, me and the coaches will have to think about that and put it right. We tried to move the ball quickly but we have should kept it tight and looked for more territorial play.”

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