Giles Heagerty was left applauding his players effort this Saturday despite defeat away at Richmond. The Blues went down 66-41, despite this scoreline Heagerty was left in awe of some of the attacking rugby his side had produced.
Only one side this season had visited Richmond and scored more points than The Blues’ 41 and Heagerty admitted that this stat showed how far his side had come this season and how brutal they could be when they had the ball in hand. However, the head coach felt they gifted Richmond a lot of their scores and this ultimately was where the game was lost.
“We’ve scored 41 brilliant points but we’ve let them score 66 and we’ve contributed to 40 of them, and that’s probably the story of our season and its infuriating as a coach and player. Our attack is ruthless. We’ve got that much pace that we can take full advantage of most opportunities given to us. They’ve scored four tries from driving mauls and two tries from missed tackles, these are individual errors that shouldn’t happen. We talked before the game and our two watch words were concentration and tempo, we did dictate tempo for large parts of the game but we lacked concentration.”
Heagerty picked out some individual performances from the game he was particularly impressed with, including those of Tom Morton and Matt Geiger and joined this week’s squad late in but came in and performed to great effect, Morton scored a try and also converted a couple from the tee.
“Tom Morton was exceptional in the first half and should be applauded, he’s come in late we only knew we were going to have him involved on Thursday and Matt Geiger also did a great job. Tom Eaton had a great game, the work he did defensively was superb. Elliot Millar-Mills had a great game, Ben Jones stepped up, the last five weeks he’s been brilliant but probably not had the pat on the back he has deserved. Dave Marwick also had a brilliant game today. Everybody has stepped up at various points during a very difficult season. We’ve failed to achieve the standards we set as a group and we must review the reasons why and work to rectify them.”
The Blues now head into a season in National Two, and Heagerty was keen to point out that his group of players are desperate to prove that they are better than they have shown this campaign.
“The next campaign is a long time away, its hard to say what we expect as it’s a very tough league with some strong teams in that league. But we now have a group of very angry men, not negatively but it’s positive we’ve got boys who wish this season could carry on, we’ve had some dark times this season and there are lads there that are desperate to right wrongs of this season. Players know they haven’t performed to their capacity and they want to show that. We know our goals internally and we need to work hard to achieve these. We have players coming into join us but the important thing is we’re only losing two players. Chris Jones is joining the coaching staff and Phil Williams is off to Sandhurst. Tom Mantell will be coming back, so he will feel like virtually a new player, and also Ryan Higginson. We’ve set clear goals in the immediate aftermath and on July 1st we’re back in and we’re working towards them.”
The blues come back into work in July for pre season ahead of another campaign in a tough national league, where The Blues are hungry to right the wrongs of the season just past.