Will Cotterill praises job well done for Shelford in win over Old Haberdashers in London League 1N
Will Cotterill praised a job well done as Shelford celebrated their community day with a 43-5 win over Old Haberdashers in the opening London League 1N game of the season.
Donning the shirts designed by a club member as part of a competition and to be auctioned off for the NHS, they were able to show different aspects to their game.
Two tries from Mike Gillick and one apiece from Miles Huppatz, Jack Biard and Louis Tang, and 18 points from the boot of Lewis Cracknell, four penalties and three conversions, did the damage.
But the score line was not a complete reflection of the game.
“It was exactly what I asked the players to do,” said Shelford director of rugby Cotterill.
“The nerves were high, the excitement levels were high, and so we certainly wanted to go out there and stamp our control on the game early rather than try to do too much too soon.
“We put together some really nice phases. Any penalty opportunity we had, Crackers was slotting them between the posts.
“To Old Haberdashers credit, they were in our 22 for the last 15 minutes of the first half and our defence was unbelievable.
“We hung on in the first half and didn’t let them cross the line, the penalty count was tough against us because we were under the pump.
“They were really going at us for a good solid 15 minutes, their scrum was strong and put our scrum under pressure a bit to get some penalties to play off.
“But we came out after half time and really turned the intensity up to score some beautiful tries from all over the park, running in some lovely plays from inside our 22 which was great to see.”
Cotterill added: “It was the perfect first game from my point of view because we attacked really well off set piece, we attacked really well in open play, but we had to defend hard for blocks of the game and our defence was superb.
“The score line makes it look one-sided, but they really did have us under the cosh for big chunks of the game and we just dealt with it really well.”
After the game, a couple of the shirts were auctioned, while the rest will be sold online through the Cheffins website with the proceeds going to support the staff involved in the NHS IDA ward at Addenbrooke’s Hospital.
On the community day, Cotterill said: “It was absolutely brilliant. The big thing as a club was that the on-field was fantastic, but the off-field was as good if not even better.
“The atmosphere was brilliant, a great turn-out. The big thing was lots of kids and wives and girlfriends, it wasn’t just the boys club, and that is really important.
“It just makes for such a nice environment with that blend of family, partners and wives, so I think that was the big thing for me, to see so many people up here enjoying the rugby.”