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It’s Geoff Says

| 16/02/2020

It’s Geoff Says

Bridgwater and Albion director of rugby Geoff Sluman had nothing but praise for the players and the referee for going ahead with Saturday’s game at Lydney, but admits that it wasn’t a good day for his side.

Geoff gave his own account of matchday events which gives an interesting insight into how things unfolded.

“Well that was a rather strange day for us. It started by receiving a call from Lydney early on Saturday morning saying everything was fine, the pitch was good, and we were OK to carry on.

“It was agreed that Lydney would call back at 10:30 to confirm – by which time the weather was deteriorating in Bridgwater. However our hosts confirmed, somewhat to our surprise that conditions were good, so we set off on our journey to Lydney.

“On our arrival some two hours later we were met with the fact that the pitch was not at all playable and the match would have to be postponed. We waited half an hour when it was agreed with the referee and captains that the match could start after all.

“We did start and the conditions were some of the worst imaginable that it is possible to play rugby in.

“Lydney won the toss and chose to play with the very strong wind that was in their favour and which they used to good effect. The wind keeping us pinned in our 22 and with the appalling conditions, as soon as handling errors occurred, they were all scoring opportunities for Lydney.”

Sluman went on: “We need to be careful to learn the lessons and not just give ourselves reasons for the defeat, but the coaches will work through this in the week. On the 61 minute of the allocated 80 minutes the referee blew the final whistle – 60 minutes being the minimum possible for the result to stand.

“The referee did extremely well for the duration of the game, so we have absolutely nothing but praise for the ref and it must be said that Lydney dealt with the uncertainty and ultimately the poor conditions a lot better than the Bridgwater team did and we only have ourselves to blame for not having the psychology right.

“There is not a lot else to be said about the rugby to be honest, it was not a good day for us. But, all of the players worked extremely hard in conditions that some have not experienced before.”

Geoff went on:”The best part of the day for me was catching up with my old boss Trevor, who is a Lydney rugby club member – the reunion was made even better by the fact the he bought the beer! I think that sums a lot up about rugby though, we always have a good time visiting Lydney and despite conditions on the pitch we can always have a beer with our opponents after the match. That is not to say we don’t care about the result, we obviously do, but we have to keep things in perspective, you can’t develop your rugby game much in those conditions.”

Looking ahead Geoff said: “We have another week of uncertainty ahead of us becuase we are due to play our next round match in the Somerset Cup away to Old Redcliffians on Wednesday evening, kicking off at 19:30.

“However, Old Reds did not play their scheduled league match due to the weather on Saturday and we have a couple more days of storm Dennis to be with us before Wednesday so we are not sure if the fixture will go ahead or not.

“The first team then have no fixture next Saturday, while our second team are due to play away at Keynsham. However they also cancelled their home league match this Saturday so with more poor weather forecast for early in the week Keynsham always have a tough time of it with their pitches being particularly susceptible to being water logged due to their low-lying elevation. So we don’t quite know exactly what we will be up to from a rugby point of view next week.”

Geoff added: “What we do know is that we must deal with the uncertainty better than we did this week.”

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Category: Previews / Reports -XV

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