JRC Vase Semi Final victory
Toc H U15s secure their place in the Vase Final with a good win 19-49* away at Fylde. West Park through as our Final opponents following their win against Garstang.
Didsbury Toc H travelled to Fylde for our JRC vase semi final eager to play after weeks without any rugby, depleted in numbers and with nearly half the team off the back of a 14 hour return coach journey from Austria the day before, so not the best prepared team!
That is until their debut stand in coach took charge armed with a plethora of great coaching tips from hours of podcast listening and imparted this on the team. Thanks must go to Ugo Monye and Chris Jones for the Martin Johnson wisdom ‘let’s get all playing at 7 or 8 and we’ll win this’ and Toc H’s very own Eggchaser JB for my defensive master class; Line Speed and Commitment! Not sure there was much in the way of offensive pointers, more a case of ‘let the boys play’.
Lads were asked to replicate the Eccles performance where we put pace on everything and shifted the ball quickly into space, not forgetting the absent DX mantra of fast and hard.
We played to the script and quickly got ahead with 2 early tries from Jordan and then Leo, both the result of shipping the ball quickly and attacking the space.
We didn’t get it all our own way though and Fylde were quickly into our 22 for a score, not the area we wanted to play the game in as Fylde had some threats from close range in their team.
Limited in numbers to 13 we were playing with a 6 man scrum minus flankers and uncontested, so a good No.8 pick-up was a constant threat for the 9 to defend. Ollie J from a scrum on half way though did just that, picked and went right down the middle for a score under the posts followed by a charged down conversion.
Fylde were still in it and scored a converted try towards the end of the half to reduce the Toc H lead to just 5, but a 2nd try from Jordan just before the break took the lead to 10 points.
HT: Fylde 12 – Toc H 22
Half time coaching wisdom from Tim and I, or rather more of the same lads ensued, and it wasn’t long before Jordan got his hat trick and Leo converted. We couldn’t pull away and Fylde scored another converted try soon after the restart, but it was clearly evident that our 13 were more than holding their own in the fitness stakes against a team with 5 subs and we were fully committed in our tackling, line speed and kick chase.
Ollie J, never one to be outdone by Jordan then got his second try with some strong running in the wide channel.
Fylde managed to gain some territory and pinned us down in our 22 and committed work won us a penalty on our try line. With an eye for the space Tom took the brave decision to chip rather than kick for touch and Leo gathered on the 22 and ran the length to score under the posts for an excellent converted try! One of the Fylde coaches in admiration asked me was that a planned move (if only!), it was planned, but just in the moment by Tom and Leo.
Ollie J was looking like he’d get his third to match Jordan’s tally but great support from Tom and unselfish play by OJ to pop a pass from behind the try line to Tom was a nice touch. It was fitting that OJ then went over to get our final ninth try and his hat trick.
FT: Fylde 19 – Toc H 49*
The game was played at a really high tempo and everyone put in a great effort to enable our finishers to find the space they did, great running from Mikey at 15 to support the back line, matched only by the silky glide of Arran to show the backs that the forwards can play their game too! Some committed tackling on show, Sam B hitting the numbers game but Alfie and Andrew felling the BLs with some great efforts out wide, hard running from Elijah and Sam W through the middle and out wide. Luke as ever was all over the park picking up flanker duties in defence and attack with Sam B playing from the row, and Jamie covered some metres getting to the rucks to service the back line. Continual line pressure and chase forced Fylde into lots of errors and knocked on ball, some excellent counter rucking when needed and some good ball strips were evident. An excellent performance from all kept the coaches’ win percentage in the high 100’s and all the parents watching proud of the team today.
Thanks to Bryan for recording precise Opta worthy stats and numbers, Roz for the Toc H album entries and Tim for his input and Fylde for their hospitality.
A great day at Fylde for all, looking firmly forward to the final with West Park.