Micheal's Diary: We Win As A Team, We Lose As A Team

Micheal O Coinn, Waterford Wolves - Ireland 
On a day that many believed would be the Wolves third consecutive win, the reality of the wolf-pack's team motto rang truest. "We win as a team, we lose as a team," reverberate painfully in our minds.

The Waterford Wolves faced one of their toughest challenges to date in their meeting against the Dublin Dragons. We had confidence for days; I know we did, you could just feel it. We took the pitch ready for the win, ready to take away the chances of anyone catching our lead. In retrospect, maybe we were too ready. With optimism at it's hight, we had only one place to go...down.

The first quarter was a slow start for both team's offences while the defenses each held their own respectively. Grinding the ball for a handful of yards here and there would be the storyline of the first quarter. By the end of the first quarter, it was obvious that the Wolves defense had fallen into a rhythm where every player synced with one another to get the ball back into the hands of their offence.

The second quarter lead the Wolves to believe that the game was in hand after a defensively dominated 15 minutes hailing a 0-2 lead going into halftime. The Wolves pressured the Dragon's offence back to the 3 yard line where the pressure brought a 2 point safety against the Dragons. The Dragons had to be thinking about their last loss by the same means forcing them into reinventing themselves in the second half if they were to contend in this match.

After a lacklustre performance by the offences on both sides of the ball in the first half, the Wolves new the pressure was on to put an offensive score on the board in the last 30 minutes. And this is where the Cinderella story falls apart.

With the intent of coming out and continuing the pressure, the Waterford Wolves had hopes of getting the ball down the field on the shoulders of the offence...this just wasn't to be. The Dragons did reevaluate their game plan and in so doing, scored quickly by moving the ball down the field causing what could only be chaos in the Wolves back field.

For a chance to fight back and regain the lead, the Wolves would have to duplicate the offensive series of the Dragons. And yet again, this was just not to be. With costly turnovers by the Wolves offence it wouldn't be long 'till the Dragons were again in scoring position. From what seemed to be a manageable 8-2 deficit, the Dragons would again push the ball into the end zone to take a more commanding lead of 14-2 late in the second half.

Though the Wolves defence never stopped pressuring and adjusting to the Dragon's offence, it just wasn't meant to be for Waterford in their second home match and third league match ever. There are NO excuses from the Wolves, we graciously concede to the better team on the day. We left it all on the pitch, blood, sweat and tears, and in so doing, we can hold our heads up without regret. We are understanding of what happened and will refocus for the 5 matches that remain.

Maybe not being chased for first place is exactly the kick in the backside necessary for our freshman squad. The Wolves have no delusion about the difficult road ahead, but we are ready for any challenge that awaits.

#72 Micheál Ó Coinn