Well, it wasn’t the Weather Girls that we were playing today but the Wether……by Boys instead.
Wetherby Bulldogs to be precise and ‘no’, much to the ‘ladies’ dismay, it wasn’t ‘raining men’ but it was raining tries. Eleven in all, and this is how the game panned out……..
Fresh from a 2-week Easter Break, KXP Under 8’s were back in action and they continued where they’d last left off against Emley Moor.
Just before kick-off, the heavens opened up and in all honesty, the last thing I was thinking was ‘God bless Mother Nature’. That said, I’m constantly told that rugby’s a man’s game and our under 8’s stepped up to the mark yet again. KXP won the toss and kicked off, ‘just about half-past ten’. Captain for the day, Daniel Smith, lead by example, taking the ball a full twenty-five yards before being held. After a quick play of the ball, Noah Smerdon saw a gap out wide and seized his opportunity, crossing the line and touching down to put KXP 0-4 up within the first minute.
Arguably KXP’s strongest side to their game this year has been their defence and today was no exception. The tag-team duo of Jake Smith and Louis Inman have deservedly taken all the plaudits so far this season but today and by his own admission, last year’s Player of the Year, Callum Sutcliffe, emerged from what has been a quiet start to his second season. He tackled like a demon and ran the ball strong and hard. He went on to be named ‘Top Tackler’ and no one could argue that this award was more deserved.
Wetherby Bulldogs struggled to get the ball out of their own half. Yes, they were a bit raw and it was clear to see that they were still finding their feet in this their first season together but KXP weren’t in any mood to show them any leniency and they were constantly pressed back by Bailey Dacres and Ted Grogan. Lily Wadsworth was in inspired form today and it was her weaving run that lead to Jake Smith crossing the line to extend KXP’s lead to 0-8.
Debutant, Ted Grogan, has seen the light and crossed over from Rugby Union. He marked his debut with a great try and soon KXP were 0-12 up. ‘Humidity wasn’t rising’ but the score line certainly was and shortly after, Louis Inman got in on the act and with a characteristic run, he powered through to put KXP 0-16 up at the break.
The second half kicked off and I think that KXP were still supping their half-time juice when Wetherby Bulldogs crossed the line to pull the score back to 4-16. This was just reward for an inexperienced team who never gave up.
May be this was the wake up call that KXP needed and strong running again from Lily Wadsworth left her inches from the line. Acting Half Back, Oliver Oldroyd, played a quick pass to Jake Smith and he crossed the line to put KXP 4-20 up. Jake Smith was in the thick of the action moments later, stealing the ball from Wetherby’s play and releasing Noah Smerdon who streaked down the line to put KXP 4-24 up.
Ted Grogan unlike his namesake, Claire, was aiming to show that he’s no ‘one hit wonder’ and put in a strong run to take the ball within 20 yards of the Wetherby line. Louis Inman took the ball on before releasing Callum Sutcliffe who crowned a great display with a well deserved try. KXP were now 4-28 up.
It really was one-way traffic. Daniel Smith was leading by example and came close to crossing the line before being held up by half the Wetherby team. The pressure was relentless and just when Wetherby thought they’d ridden another wave of attack, Noah Smerdon stole the ball to touchdown for his hat-rick. KXP were now 4-32 up.
There really was no let-up and Bailey Dacres, Ted Grogan and Jake Smith all pushed forward with the ball. Oliver Oldroyd was orchestrating the plays like a veteran and his quick thinking saw Louis Inman cross the line again to take KXP’s lead to 4-36. Great play and try.
There was just time for one more try and it went to Noah Smerdon. He took his tally for the day to four (4) and KXP’s demolition ended in 4-40.
Is he ‘tall, blonde, dark and lean, rough and tough and strong and mean’??? Well, their manager, Paul Wadsworth AKA, Waddy, does have some of those attributes but to the KXP Under 8’s; he’s most definitely their ‘perfect guy’. Hallelujah!!
Match report by Graham Smerdon