Tuesday 9 November 2010

Simon Cross on the Jed match

After the Premier Cup game against Jed, T'owd Tin Pot spoke to Simon Cross.

T'oTP - Simon that was the first game this season in wet conditions what was your view?

SC - It was a test whether or not this Accies team could continue to play attacking, fast paced rugby. And with a try bonus point against a decent Jed team, you'd be on the money for thinking that it was a job well done. For the most part, it was a very good performance.

T'oTP - You had to make changes again to the team, how did that effect the game?

SC - Yes, all the more pleasing that three players made their debuts to good effect. The 1st XV have now used 35 players this season and player have made a seamless transition. Malcy and Andrew have done a great job with the 2nd XV, preparing them perfectly for 1st XV action.

T'oTP - James Taggart was one of the debutants against Jed, were you pleased with his introduction?

SC - His performance at Openside Flanker demonstrated why he was a regular in the Currie backrow last season. Not a flashy player, but a coach's dream - he understands his role in attack and defence and he does his job time after time. He made countless tackles and proved a thorn in the Jed side with numerous turnovers.

T'oTP - Accies back row seemed to be very effective unit on Saturday, as a back row forward, is that your view?

SC - I agree, Taggart was only one third of a very effective Accies Backrow on the day where Drennan and Teague also made life very difficult for Jed in attack and defence. Few who have watches Accies over the years could argue that Teague is the heartbeat of this team, but the improvements he has made to his passing game and his defensive technique are an indication of his desire and work ethic. He sets his stall out at training as is a fantastic role model to his younger Accies team mates.

T'oTP -The set piece performed well again, despite the wet conditions - was that your reading?

SC - Liness and Pike had a good understanding in the lineout, where Liness showed his throwing class, able to hit the tail of the lineout time after time - a huge benefit to any team. Those hours of throwing practice he puts in are obviously paying off! Jackson, Mcsorley and Murray all scrummed their hearts out and Andrew Kelly (Accies scrum coach) will be delighted with their efforts.

T'oTP - The teams moved the ball well all game, perhaps not what we expected, but it was effective.

SC - By keeping the ball moving through the hands, we are not only testing our own skills, but constantly testing the Jed defence. A common misconception is that attacking in the rain is harder than defending. Not so, because in slippery conditions, an attacker knows where his feet are going, a defender doesn't! The defender is therefore more likely to slip, missing the tackle. As coaches, it is our job to give the players the tools to play in adverse conditions. Hand catching, passing accuracy and lines of running are all paramount for attacking in the rain, training needs to reflect that.

T'oTP - The team has good momentum ahead of Saturday's game against Selkirk, what's on for this week?

SC - The emphasis in training this week will be on keeping hold of the ball and really attacking the first three phases. We have a full squad to pick from and plenty of selection headaches. Ross Browne looked sharp again, Atkin (man of the match against Jed) continues to show his class and Pecqueur showed his versatility at Full Back.

T'oTP - Any message for the Club supporters?

SC - I look forward to seeing a good crowd at Raeburn Place next Saturday - when we begin a big run of four play off matches. The time has come to test ourselves against Premier One opposition. If we continue to do the simple things well, we have a chance, nothing needs to change! To the players - trust you fitness, trust your techniques, if you perform well the results will take care of themselves.

T'oTP - Thanks Simon.


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