Blackburn start slowly but finish strongly!
Southport into their game from the start
The under 11s travelled to the coast to play Southport on Sunday morning. Southport had asked for an early kick off which obviously affected our players as we were down by 5 after the first quarter. It was like watching a different team from the week before as tackles were missed and ball was dropped, Southport capitalising on the lads mistakes aswell as creating their own chances.
After some stern words after the 1st quarter, the lads decided to take their pyjamas and dressing gowns off and put their rugby kits on, at least for the first 5 minutes of the second quarter, holding Southport to only one score and scoring ourselves through a strong run down the wing by our Welsh bretheren, Bryn. What a weekend for the Welsh, beating South Africa, Bryn's father, Rhys scoring for the 3rds and now son, Bryn crossing the line. However, the Blackburn comeback was short lived as the pyjamas and dressing gowns were back on. Southport running in another 3 tries before half time, taking the score to 9-1.
Again, the lads rallied for the first five minutes of the second half keeping out Southport and snatching a try from strong running Charlie, to make it 9-2. Was this the comeback the coaches and parents were looking for. Not yet!! Southport again, took control and ran in another 4 unanswered scores. Southport played some great rugby with some strong running and good handling. However, Blackburn's tackling, rucking and handling wasn't up to the standard they had set themselves in previous games. We chose to receive the ball from kick offs which meant we should have had possession and be able to attack Southport. Unfortunately, Southport put us under too much pressure from the kick offs and we either, spilled the ball or went backwards trying to pass the ball. So after 45 minutes of rugby, Blackburn were down 13-2. It should have been 14-2, but for a fantastic tackle from Bryn, knocking one of the bigger Southport lads backwards in the tackle. Had this inspired the team? Read on!
Master tactician and head coach, Chris, decided the lads should kick off instead of receiving and after a team talk from coach Lee, telling the lads it was 0-0 going into the last quarter (apparently, his maths was never his strong point at school but acting was), as the lads all believed him. What a final quarter!. Rucking was back up to scratch, the number of turnovers achieved was outstanding, the tackling was much improved and the handling even better culminating in 5 well taken tries from Alphie, Charlie, James, Taylor and Ben with only 2 in reply from Southport. Final score 15-7. Final quarter score 5-2.
Well done to Southport who played some good open rugby but also, well done to all the Blackburn lads including Caleb, Reuben, Ollie, Obi & Rheon who didn't get on the scoresheet but made a significant contribution especially in the last quarter. None of the team's heads went down when they could have easily given up for the last 15 minutes. But No, they all decided it was 0-0 and game on. This just shows the character in this team.
From a coaches point of view, once this team plays for the full match period, it has the ability and talent to beat a lot of teams this season, or at least push them very close. Next week we are away at Preston Grasshoppers. Lets play the full match!!