I missed the last couple of weeks. I’m sorry. I’ll explain. I was in the desert, walking alone in the sand. I was fedup, wanted to be by myself for a bit, when I looked down and saw a tortoise crawling towards me. I reached down, flipped the tortoise on its back. The tortoise laid on its back, its belly baking in the hot sun, beating its legs trying to turn itself over. But it couldn’t, not without my help. For a second I did nothing, unsure why any of this was happening. Then I reached down and flipped him right side up and moved on. It was already a jerk move. I didn’t need to compound it or throw anyone through a wall or anything. 

In any case, that’s why I didn’t get anything written up the last little while. Now, on to this week’s game.

The Goodish: Lasike made his return from the reserves. He immediately showed an impact. It will be nice seeing him more and more. 

Oh that dynamic backs group. Their fancy footwork, and very pretty kicks make for some exciting play. For example, that glorious use of the 50/22 rule we saw. Unfortunately it didn’t seem to translate to points. 

The scrum and the lineout held pretty strong. Utah only lost one of each officially. They might have had a better drive in the mauls if they weren’t having to step over someone lying on the pitch every single time. I swear I could see someone drop to the ground on every lineout and curl up right where the channel had been a moment before. Thighs and ribs just don’t provide good grip, even for cleats. And going forward is really hard if you’re tripping over someone.

Tyler Fisher is back for the upcoming game on Friday. 

The Bad: It’s been said by a bunch of people already but unforced errors are killing possessions and scoring opportunities. 

Missed tackles are just giving people meters after contact. Worse, some led directly to points. Sure, the runner may be slowed and go down eventually but by then they picked up five to ten meters and their support has arrived to clear Utah out maintaining possession for another phase. If it takes three people to bring someone down then there is probably a gap forming somewhere in the line. 1 out of every 5 tackles was missed (16 missed, 64 made, total of 80). 20% and it was probably worse cause I don’t fully trust the stats on the MLR app.

The Ugly:  When the pitch compresses down to those last couple meters this team is just not performing. I don’t care which side of the ball you want to talk about either. They aren’t stopping their opponents in short yardage. They aren’t getting under the ball to hold it up and earn a kick. They aren’t winning penalties or causing turnovers. Then on offense they just can’t seem to get out of their own way. The number of entrances into the 22 without coming away with points is concerning at this point. 

2 losses instead of 2 wins. 1 table point instead of 8 or more. Playoff position, or nothing. 5 meters can make or break a team, and right now they are breaking Utah.

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