Chairman says Ay’s must ‘front up’ to turn season around

Aylesbury Rugby Club's first team squad
Aylesbury Rugby Club's first team squad
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Aylesbury chairman Dean Gray says the club’s players must ‘front up’ and turn their season around with some winnable games in December.

Gray was speaking in the wake of the club’s latest defeat, a 34-10 reverse at Olney on Saturday.

But it could have been so different had the Magenta and Blacks carried their solid first half display into the second period.

“It was hard to take after such a fine opening half,” Gray said.

“We seemed to fall off tackles, not front up in defence and concede weak tries.

“We have a couple of games we should, if we front up, win in December and it is up to the group of players to turn Saturday’s opening half into an 80 minute performance.”

And it certainly was a game of two halves as Aylesbury travelled to Olney hoping to repeat their victory in the Bucks Shield earlier in the season.

The Ducks started the game strongly and spent most of the first 15 minutes camped in the home side’s half.

The pressure told when Olney infringed at a ruck and James Woodfall slotted the penalty for 3-0. The home side tried to fight back and managed to press on the visitors line, but it was the Ducks extended their lead further.

Liam D’Almedia took a high ball out wide, managed to fend of his man and following a great off-load inside to Woodfall, scored near the posts. With the conversion good, it was the Ducks who were playing some of their best rugby of the season and were ahead 10-0 at the break. However, they were to be their last points of the game.

Where the Ducks had tackled like demons in the first half, it took just one missed challenge to blow the game wide open in the second as Olney reduced the deficit (10-5).

A converted try put the hosts 12-10 ahead and a penalty for coming in at the side of a ruck made it 15-10.

Another missed tackle allowed Olney to stretch the lead to 22-10 before two quick tries exploited missed tackles all over the pitch with one conversion being good (34-10).

Coach Dave Larham labelled the second half showing “totally unacceptable.”

Ay’s entertain Reading Abbey on Saturday (2.15pm).