Resilience following Relegation
On a bitterly cold afternoon in Bristol, Cirencester played Whitehall with defeat defining their ability to stay in Gloucester Premier. It was clear from the start the huge Whitehall pack had a game plan on how to hurt the Cirencester defence, with quick ball won, feeding powerful runners into the heart of the Cotswold side pack. From the outset they would gain success which saw them take 21-0 lead in as many minutes. Cirencester RFC did rally in the second quarter of the first half with better possession and continuity, but every time they coughed up the ball, Whitehall would gain field position with a kick which were helped by the wind behind their backs, and on such a turn over the last try of the half was scored by the home side making the half time score 26-0.
After the turn around the away side had to use the conditions to their favour. The Red & Blacks looked in positive mood with both Owen brothers making inroads into the home side territory; one run from Gareth Owen setting up a try for Iwan Thomas. This would be the first and last score for Ciren who could not hold onto the ball long enough to apply and sustain pressure. Whitehall went on to score further three tries making the final score 41-5 and condemning Cirencester to relegation, with four league games to play.
Andy Deacon (DoR) commented: “This season has again been a difficult one with the club in a transitional period; with senior players retiring, and some players walking away from the sport and club all together. A healthy positive has been with the developing, young Colt players who have not only been thrust into the senior level at pace, but many into the 1XV team and they have stepped up indeed. Although this has brought a steep learning curve, I am in no doubt that these young guys will in the long run benefit from this experience, which in due course will also have a positive effect on the league results.”
“This learning curve is not isolated to the young members of the squad, I will be looking across the board for senior players, coaches, and management to review and all strive for improvement. I will look at how I can also improve for the greater good of the club. In these circumstances self-appraisal is key, from the Chairman down, on and off pitch! Starting now we will be looking to attract new players to the club for next season to complement the existing squad. Off the field there are fantastic developments taking place to the club house and grounds which will not only attract new players but new members and sponsors. The journey never stops, but as in any walk of life you have set backs, which we have just had, but with improvement and resilience the club will move forward.”
This Saturday Cirencester welcomes Gloucester Old Boys with a kick off at 2:30pm at the Whiteway.