A fabulous morning of rugby
big steps in the right direction...
Following the drubbing in December, the Aylesbury boys could be forgiven if they approached this return fixture with some trepidation. Drifters must be one of the most improved sides in Buckinghamshire in the last 12 months, with powerful big runners all around the park, and brave committed players at the breakdown. Their run of impressive results this season is testimony to how much they have improved.
In recent weeks, Aylesbury's playing numbers have swelled and following a controlled series of training sessions for the new boys, this was the chance to let them loose in a competitive fixture en masse. In the first half, nearly two thirds of the Aylesbury team were either new players or boys playing in new positions for the first time at Youth level. The first ten minutes saw the game see-saw up and down the pitch, with great attacking and defensive play from both sides. Aylesbury were aggressive in the rucks, Drifters were effective at counter rucking and poaching the ball. Good tackling from both sides, fast rugby and a desire to involve everyone saw a great opening exchange. Gradually, the unfamiliarity of new positions and the inexperience of the new boys meant Drifters were able to score 3 tries to nil by half-time, but this was in no way a fair indication of just how well the Aylesbury team played.
In the second half / match Aylesbury re-arranged the team, bringing back the more experience players, and trying to get everyone to play back in the preferred positions. Aylesbury were still short of players in the centers, with injuries and illness meaning some boys had to fill-in. Aylesbury had the better scoring chances, with Drifters having to scramble with five last-ditch try saving tackles as Aylesbury broke through the Drifters line time after time. These were brilliantly executed tackles, textbook, safe for everyone and highly dramatic, providing some welcome evidence to counter the negative press rugby has received recently regarding contact. All credit to both the Drifters players and their coaches! The two teams cancelled each other out in the second half with neither side crossing the line.
Overall, a great day of rugby, with everyone developing and learning. Everyone left with big smiles on their faces, and the boys talking about their performances and what they learnt from playing in different positions. The new boys got game time under their belts and we're please to say everyone wore their new Aylesbury socks with pride!