Author: Sharen Cervantes
Although the team began the day with strong numbers and an effective warm-up, the Tigers could not match the intensity of their opponents when they came to the pitch for kick-off, according to captain Danielle Siegler (senior). “CSUN has some really big girls, and we didn’t do our job on defense when it came to tackling and stopping them,” Siegler said.
The team presented a strong front during the first half of the game but failed to keep their momentum during the second half. “We were doing a pretty good job [of] sliding when [CSUN] got the ball outside to their back players. As the game progressed … we were not doing as good a job with that,” Siegler said.
Going into the second half of the game, the Tigers knew that they needed to produce stronger slides and put up a flat defensive line in order to challenge the opposing team’s back line. Though Occidental’s line-outs were decent, they still needed some improvement.
In spite of their hard work on Sunday, the team is disappointed with their overall performance. “Normally we can keep possession on our line-outs, and even steal a few, [but] we were not on point this game. I threw a few in that were not straight, thus giving [CSUN] possession [of the ball],” Siegler said. The Tigers also had a few balls stolen from them during the game. This was a result of a disorganized back line that lacked support while CSUN spun out the ball.
Despite these organizational weaknesses, the rugby team was strong in the scrums. “When it was their put-in, we wheeled them, and when it was ours we tried eight-man pickups to the weak side, hoping to catch them off guard. While they were strong, we often pushed over the ball to steal a few of their scrums, which is always a good thing,” Siegler said.
One of the team’s biggest complaints about Sunday’s game is that CSUN often managed to beat Occidental on the outside. According to Siegler, the opposing team was well-drilled and executed excellent plays. Even a surprising amount of team depth during this game couldn’t save the Tigers. “We are used to playing short a few players and therefore normally do a great job at covering the entire field, so when we were getting overlapped on the outside, it was a little disheartening,” Siegler said.
Even though the team didn’t play as strongly as they would have liked, they will have a chance to redeem themselves when they play against USC on Sunday, April 9 at 11 a.m.
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