After a long break due to the extended winter weather, it was with some relief that the Elks U12's took to the field for a rematch against Nottingham Moderns. In good playing conditions, the young Elks made a good start with Felix Rabusin
, in his first start after an injury lay off, following up some driving forward play to open the score with a try after 2 minutes. Isaac Smith converted, to make the first of 5 conversions.
The Elks dominated the first half with strong scrummaging and rucking, ensuring that Moderns were forced to defend for the majority of the first half. Within the next 10 minutes Tom Caines
and then Cameron Greenfield
scored from powerful running through the Moderns defence. Ben Middleton
took clean rucked ball to take advantage of open space on the blind side, with a surging run to start a series of moves which eventually saw a powerful drive by Conor Corrigan to score on the right hand side of the pitch on the close of the first half.
Elks made seven substitutions at half time reflecting the size of the squad and the coaches desire to ensure new players get game time and experience. Whilst the Elks set scrum and line out continued to perform well, the cohesion of the first half was lost. Moderns started the half strongly, rucking well and continuing to get the better of the Elks in the maul, using their generally smaller height to good effect by getting underneath the ball carriers arms. They scored within the first two minutes. Two further scores in the next 10 minutes came as the Moderns outside centre beat the Elks for sheer pace, running from deep in their half to score two well taken tries.
The return of a couple of more experienced Elks players to the pitch tightened up the Elks grip on the match, creating the space for Jordan Rathbone, Joseph Doughty, Zack Lebeter
and Conor Corrigan to run at the Moderns defence. Robbie Boddington
and Billy Derbyshire had been dynamic in the ruck all match and delivered yet another clean ball which passed swiftly down the line running at pace. The ball was recycled at the breakdown and Aidan Norris
powered over for the final score of the match.
An entertaining game with good skills demonstrated by both sides and a timely reminder to Ilkeston that they need to stay focused through the whole of the game as they enter a run of 6 back to back fixtures
Special thanks to Nico Delbuono and Jordan Pritchett for covering for a Moderns injury.
Man of the match
Forwards : Robbie Boddington
Backs : Conor Corrigan