Frenchville defeats Brothers in Saturday face-off
RUGBY UNION: Frenchville Pioneers fans were on their edge of their seats in what was a nail-bitingly close match against Brothers.
Frenchville's A-grade men's coach Lance Robb said a few errors narrowed the gap between the scores but individual efforts levelled the final score to 20-25 in favour of Frenchville.
"It was a good battle," he said.
"As a team we're still finding the way we want to play.
"We seem to let other teams dictate how we play rather than us dictating how we play.
"We're only a couple of games out from the semis but hopefully we get on top and start playing a winning style."
Key decisions by the team's captain and vice captain made all the difference, as well the pack-mentality of the team, with many players putting their hands up when needed.
Adaptability may be a strength to some, but Robb said the team's habit of letting their opposition control their game plan is playing for the other team's strengths and not their own.
"We're good in a tight game but our strengths are to play more expansively and to use our backs a bit more," Robb said.
"We've got a lot of skill in our team... we've got a small forward pack but it's quite mobile.
"For us, it's easier to play a more expansive, wider game then trying to take the big pack up front."
A stand-out of the game was fly half Robert Chelepy.
"As an individual he played really well," Robb said.
"He attacked the line hard and made crucial breaks there.
"Peter Bardy was also big for us in defence but he went off injured.
"Hopefully he'll be back next week in the semis."
Robb credited the team for not crumbling under pressure, particularly when Brothers came back at them after losing control of the game.
"It was just costly mistakes and that bought them back into the game," he said.
"But it was good for us because we had to hold them down and we did.
"Defensively we were quite solid... these boys play for each other and you can't coach that.
"Once they do that it's quite easy, we just need the right game plan."
Next week Frenchville will take on Dawson Valley in the last round game before the semi finals.
"It's going to be tough for whoever makes it but I believe if we can pull it together we will be in the final for sure," Robb said.