Well, I hope they improve, partly because it's where I went and partly because it will be a better competition if they do. The coach (John Allen) has forgotten more about Rugby than I ever knew, so it would be presumptuous of me to tell him what's needed. But my impressions from Saturday are that they could improve in these areas:
1. Execution. These are the coach-killers: when you're camped in the opposition's quarter for five minutes and come away with nothing because of a knock-on or a turnover. To be honest, these are why I stopped coaching - I found it too frustrating. Trinity produced a number of these on Saturday. They ran with a strong wind in the first half and managed a seven-point lead. They should have converted their territorial advantage into more points.
2. More variety in attack. Trinity are quite entertaining to watch, because they almost always run the ball. They hate kicking away possession (partly because of their weirdly poor recent history at the lineout), so when they get a penalty, they usually tap and go. But their attack can be pretty static and one-dimensional. A forward picks up and drives. He's tackled. Another one picks and goes, but usually from a standing start. The best variation is the inside ball that Whicker likes to throw - last year it was to Malaki, this year the target's Satiu, at least until Moala makes it back. But there's some talent in the backs. Ebeling can break the line, Naylor has speed, Barkley-Brown looks a threat. I'd involve them more. I'd get Kotobalavu, who looks really powerful, to come into first receiver every now and then and hit the ball at pace. Actually anyone running onto the ball at pace, close to the line, would make a difference. Players like Satiu and McLean are making ground through sheer strength, but it's hard to launch an effective attack from a standing start. Plus, Naylor has speed - but he never seems to get the ball with enough space to use it effectively.
3. Better support play. There's still too much one-out running. Maybe Storey can help when he gets back. If I were a Trinity loose forward, I'd be shadowing one of the big-name players every time he got the ball. McLean, Satiu, Kotobalavu all carry defenders with them. That creates space for support players, if they can get there.
4. Better defence. Goodearl took his chances really well, but he ran twenty yards untouched for his first try and bounced out of four or five tackles for the second. Too many one-on-one tackles are being missed. There doesn't seem to be a very effective slide defence, and not all that much cover defence, except from Whicker.
5. Get the best team on the field. A problem for all schools, I know. But Malaki is gone for the season, and Moala and Storey were out on Saturday. I don't know whether Justin Fish was injured or dropped. But if Trinity could assemble a pack that had Moala, Storey and Corias in the back row, Fish at 10 and Ebeling and Kotobalavu in the centres, they could cause some upsets. Another coach-killer.
6. Switch on. There's sometimes, let's say, a lack of game sense. For example, several times on Saturday, Trinity's lineout jumpers got into the air to contest the St Aloysius throw. Only they didn't actually contest - they were just getting up to spoil. I counted three occasions when a Trinity jumper could have stolen the throw if he'd just put his hands out to catch the ball. But he didn't, because his eyes were closed! He was jumping because he was a distraction, not because he was after the ball. These are what the coaches love to call the "one percenters" - those little opportunistic moments where quick thinking can turn a game. At the moment, Trinity doesn't have the confidence to seize the moment when it presents itself (the exception was a smartly-taken quick lineout that led to a dangerous attacking raid).
What's frustrating is that they have actually improved. The things I normally find to quibble over weren't problems on Saturday. Whicker's passing was fine. The continuity was OK. They won their own lineout ball. And still they lost. But if they maintain the improvement, they can still have a respectable season. I hope.
I wish the Trinity Coach was reading this !!
You Sir Snort should be coaching the wallabies. You didn't miss a thing.