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News: Saints lose sight of the try line Exeter 21 Saints 10


By Fair_weather_fan
April 15 2015

A trip to Exeter is a nice way to spend a spring weekend, even if I was indisposed enough to eschew any beer for the duration. Pottering round a few gardens, a cream tea to die for on Dartmoor and fair dining in the clearly over-rated Samuel Jones, brought us nicely to a clear but cool Sunday appointment at Sandy Park.

 

 

Aviva Premiership Round 19

Exeter Chiefs vs Northampton Saints, Sandy Park

Sunday April 12, k.o. 2p.m.

Mrs Fair_weather_fan and I collected our obligatory pasties and made our way to the nether regions of the SW Comms tent stand from where we had an extremely good view of the in-goal area. With a gentle Devon breeze trying to shred the canvas behind us I feared most of the game might be played a long way beyond any ability to see the ball as more than a smudge on the horizon. Not a good place to be to write a review, and while strangely there was plenty of play right in front of us as things turned out, for a more informed view I had to turn to the replay. 

Typically after a defeat the moaners are out in force and by the time I got home the game thread itself already had eighty contributions. I read them wondering if I had misread the game, then the analysis began to pile up as well. I decided to get a bit forensic in search of the games turning points, and there were plenty of those.

And then there was the Waynetta thread. As usual he has more than a whistleblower’s part in the forensics; we will come to that in a minute.

The trouble with analysing a game with hindsight, as soon as you say that a certain event went the wrong way, the rest of the game would have been different. Some people try and change the course of a single event mid-game as if the remainder would be unchanged as if in ignorance of the workings of the wider universe. But being me I’m going to do both, change the course of the game and review it as it actually went.

Saints got the worst of the wind and proceeded to kick the ball a few feet into it after some promising phase play came to very little. Chiefs countered, won a penalty as Alex C folded strangely at the first scrum, nailed by Slade as the ball disappeared out of the ground in the direction of Dorset. Shortly afterwards the Saints found themselves further behind as Phil Dollman benefitted from some lack of focus by Saints defending an innocuous position outside our own 22 and cruised through a gap big enough for an airship, nearest man Daisy waving him through to the try line. Dollman was a handful all afternoon and teased the crowd shortly after by picking up a loose ball and haring 60 metres back to the try line again, only a hawk-eyed Waynetta had spotted one of the two knock-ons as Dollman picked the ball up and called play back. Had Waynetta spotted a gross tackle infringement by the same player slightly earlier, he might not even have been on the field at that point, but that lay in an alternative future and we will never know about it.  Saints lost the scrum but then built some decent pressure, but a series of strange events kept a lime green shirt from crossing the line while carrying the ball with them. The pressure was maintained and after a penalty kicked to the corner the Chiefs captain Dean Mumm was shown yellow for entering a maul from the side. Waynetta did not consider the possibility of a penalty try for a minute or even a second, but with only 2 chiefs legally bound and four saints driving a try was inevitable.

The strange inability to cross the line continued but the Saints finally made numbers and sharp play count as James Wilson dotted down in the very corner, given after a review as the assistant refused to give it at first. The conversion from the touchline looked on line for the first few yards but as soon as it got above tent height the wind got it. Five minutes to half time and 8-5 into the wind isn’t looking that shabby and the crowd has gone quiet. Then we get to the turning point. After phases, Jamie Elliot claims a kick and Saints make headway again. Dean Mumm, back on the field but blatantly retreating lazily through the Saints direct line of play misses contact, but two passes later gets a pass back out of a tackle  and the Chiefs find the busy Jack Nowell. He ran strongly throughout, and breaks the line and throws a great long pass to Sam Hill. He looks clear for the corner, but amazingly Luther catches him but, unfortunately, fails to clear him into touch. Hill knocks on, but the officials miss it, Chiefs follow up and two phases later are held up on the try line and Calum is there, feet planted perfectly over the ball as later arriving chiefs fly in to try and dislodge him. Well, I couldn’t see from the other end of the field and these things are usually taking one for the team stuff. So I checked the replay and to describe the card as harsh is to introduce a new shade of meaning to the word. So what if Waynetta called ruck, Calum already had his hands on the ball and the right call sir, is "holding on". So anything after that is pure speculation, it didn’t happen. These situations are often called the wrong way.

So that’s the turning point.

So what did happen? Saints failed to score several nailed on tries that would have changed the scoreline and the game, and probably would all have been scored and converted playing at home. We were second best again at scrum time, but it would have been a case of so what if the tries had been scored. Most of our general play with ball in hand was pretty good, we didn’t do too much daft kicking. We weren’t actually that bad. If anything we were simply guilty of forcing the play a few times, and interestingly Jim called in public for the expansive playing style to continue. What we did need to do was find a few better positional kicks or grubbers to break up the defence a bit. We could afford to concede lineouts, not scrums as we competed well on their throw far better than on their put in; a real curiosity of the game now is that the crooked throw is called by officials, but a crooked put-in is ignored; logically the hooker might as well throw direct to the scrummy at lineouts and cut out all this silly lifting stuff.

For any chiefs fans reading this, your team played to its more limited game plan very well and you could well argue you were unfortunate to have a second try chalked off by the officials, and Waynetta might easily have awarded you a penalty try during a series of scrums after Calum was sin-binned, but you know my opinion about that. We hope you finish in the playoffs as that probably means that the Tigers miss out, who knows, we might even get to see you at the Gardens for the third time this season. But that’s in the future.

 

Jim Says:

 

 

Jon Fisher Says:

Jamie Elliott Says:

 

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ComeOnYouSaints.com
News: Saints lose sight of the try line Exeter 21 Saints 10
ComeOnYouSaints.com (IP Logged)
15/04/2015 07:30
What do you think? You can have your say by posting below.
If you do not already have an account Click here to Register.

 
StMarlowe1
Re: News: Saints lose sight of the try line Exeter 21 Saints 10
St Marlowe (IP Logged)
15/04/2015 07:34
Thanks f_w_f, a really good perspective on a strange day at the office.

David L

What if there were no hypothetical questions?

- Live wrong and preposterously

 
JohnI
Re: News: Saints lose sight of the try line Exeter 21 Saints 10
JohnI (IP Logged)
15/04/2015 08:27
Glad someone else noticed hill knocked on under his body after the tackle from Luther, a decision that would have yet again changed the game at that point since Clark was pinged soon afterwards.
Take nothing away from Exeter they played the game to the max and played what the ref would allow them but we really need to start taking these easy tries and just go for the line instead of holding back that little bit too often.

 
Duckonstilts
Re: News: Saints lose sight of the try line Exeter 21 Saints 10
Duckonstilts (IP Logged)
15/04/2015 09:53
Great review. It shows how close things could have been. Lets hope that match was the turning point of 2015 and Saints will be more effective from here on.

 
SaintED
Re: News: Saints lose sight of the try line Exeter 21 Saints 10
SaintED (IP Logged)
15/04/2015 11:13
Excellent review. Always impressed by peoples ability to convey the game and atmosphere.

What was the Dollman tackle infringement?

Agree on Clarks card being a turning point but also think Pisi throwing the ball into touch on what was a certain 5 points is very significant too and was totally in our own control.

The lineout and scrum feeds/not straight drive me wild. What's the point of creating and having a dominant set piece if it can be so easily negated?

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: News: Saints lose sight of the try line Exeter 21 Saints 10
Howlin (IP Logged)
15/04/2015 11:16
Still upset about this one. Unlike Cleremont , it was a game we should of one but didn't for a host of reasons. Makes the next one that much harder. COYS

Saint 'til I die

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: News: Saints lose sight of the try line Exeter 21 Saints 10
St Dormouse (IP Logged)
15/04/2015 11:58
Thanks for your thoughts fwf. Very similar to my own throughout. I always find it hard to do a review after a loss so more power to your elbow old bean.

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: News: Saints lose sight of the try line Exeter 21 Saints 10
CraiginWootton (IP Logged)
15/04/2015 13:07
I'm so confused, I thought that we needed to change selection policy and tactics, and sack the coaches; who should I believe?*

 
alwayshopeful
Re: News: Saints lose sight of the try line Exeter 21 Saints 10
alwayshopeful (IP Logged)
15/04/2015 14:02
Jon Fisher spoke really well... I think he came over as a motivated realist.

Seemed like a genuine glint in his eye about playing sarries...and to be honest - beat them and I think the confidence will come flooding back and we are back in the running... lose and I can easily see us hitting the skids...


Come on you saints!

 
SaintED
Re: News: Saints lose sight of the try line Exeter 21 Saints 10
SaintED (IP Logged)
15/04/2015 14:38
Quote:
alwayshopeful
Seemed like a genuine glint in his eye about playing sarries...and to be honest - beat them and I think the confidence will come flooding back and we are back in the running

Every reason for positivity. We won at AP and Sarries only got back into the game when we went a man down. Blustery day so we kicked less than normal. Myler, Wilson and Clark all outstanding. As a special treat for Eif the highlights (with special attention to 0:18) (Sm151)

[www.youtube.com]

Sarries look to be coming good but they have a huge game this weekend win or lose. Also they are so dependent on Billy V it's frightening. He's absolute quality but as long as we don't feed him with endless ball we can manage him to a degree. It may also well be Farrells first full start so discipline will be vital.

 
ch saint
Re: News: Saints lose sight of the try line Exeter 21 Saints 10
ch saint (IP Logged)
15/04/2015 19:27
Thanks for that fwf always admire and appreciate well written reviews.

 
MESSAGES->author
Re: News: Saints lose sight of the try line Exeter 21 Saints 10
fatheralice (IP Logged)
15/04/2015 20:56
It was Matt Jess not Sam Hill who received the pass from Nowell, and was well tackled by Burrell.

Not sure what that says about the rest of your detailed analysis? People make mistakes I guess.

 
fair_weather_fan
Re: News: Saints lose sight of the try line Exeter 21 Saints 10
fair_weather_fan (IP Logged)
16/04/2015 05:44
Quote:
fatheralice
It was Matt Jess not Sam Hill who received the pass from Nowell, and was well tackled by Burrell.
Not sure what that says about the rest of your detailed analysis? People make mistakes I guess.
What it tells you is that I watch with the commentary turned off as I like many here can't stand it. So occasionally I miss a pearl of wisdom. The only time I listened was at the Clark yellow. I can stand being corrected on a point of identity though.

 
StMarlowe1
Re: News: Saints lose sight of the try line Exeter 21 Saints 10
St Marlowe (IP Logged)
16/04/2015 11:16
Thank you for the uncalled for post fa. Sweet
If you didn't like it, say so without the snide comments.

David L

What if there were no hypothetical questions?

- Live wrong and preposterously



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 2015:04:16:11:22:59 by St Marlowe.

 
SaintED
Re: News: Saints lose sight of the try line Exeter 21 Saints 10
SaintED (IP Logged)
16/04/2015 12:36
Quote:
fair_weather_fan
What it tells you is that I watch with the commentary turned off as I like many here can't stand it.

Do you listen to the radio coverage? or just nothing? Barnes makes me mute the TV for sure.

 
fair_weather_fan
Re: News: Saints lose sight of the try line Exeter 21 Saints 10
fair_weather_fan (IP Logged)
16/04/2015 13:08
Quote:
SaintED
Quote:
fair_weather_fan
What it tells you is that I watch with the commentary turned off as I like many here can't stand it.

Do you listen to the radio coverage? or just nothing? Barnes makes me mute the TV for sure.

If I am watching alone it's always commentary off. If the radio coverage only is available I listen to that. In this case I was referring to watching the replay while preparing the review. The commentary is never about play incidents anyway.

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