U13s vs Melksham U13s
Mustangs continue winning run in D&W comp
On a day when we stopped to remember that, occasionally, there are things in life that are more important than rugby, the lads also put last week’s disappointment firmly behind them and remembered how to go about winning a rugby match. From kick-off to full time, tackles were made and rucks were cleared as if it was one minute to go in the World Cup final. The intensity was ferocious and Melksham simply didn’t have an answer. Coupled with that strength and passion came genuine intelligence, with all players really beginning to think about the options available to them and choosing wisely. Of a bumper bag of tries to choose from, most came through a combination of application, skill and occasional guile rather than any brute force, route one choice.
Ben started the try-fest, getting the first of his hat-trick with a mixture of footwork, positioning and speed. Benji then followed, taking the outside and demonstrating his customary turn of speed. Shortly after Ben had scored our third, a move began with Jake receiving the ball in the centre. He cut towards the wing, dragging his defender with him before executing a switch with a screaming Billy who finished off a superb score. Olly H then finished off the scoring for the first half, showing pace and strength to elude the Melksham defence. Half-time saw both teams and all supporters come together for a superbly well-observed minute’s silence to remember the fallen, before the second-half got underway. With the benefit of the slope and the wind in the Mustangs’ favour, there was little in the way of respite for a beleaguered Melksham.
Ben started the period as he’d started the first, getting our scoring underway with a sprint to the line which gave his opposition no chance. Ed then got on the score sheet and George then scored a quick brace. His first was a fine team move, finished off with Angus drawing the last defender before releasing George who showed dancing toes to stay in-field and dot down in the corner. His second was a purely individual effort, catching a speculative kick deep within our own half before returning it with significant interest. Calum, who’d been mixing up play with his clever running, kicking and passing game, then called a move from a scrum. Holding his pass to the last safe moment, he popped the ball to a sprinting Jake who ran a great line to dissect the defence and run in from 40 yards. Olly H’s second score epitomised the effort of the team. Nine up and camped on their own try-line following a rare Melksham break, the determination to keep their opponents out was palpable. Tackle after tackle were made and rucks hit until we managed to turn the ball over. Still on our 5m line, the easy option would have been to hoof it into touch but they played it through the hands to Olly H on the wing who still had lots to do to release himself from the clutches of their final defender before he ran in for a length-of-the-pitch try. Our final score went to Calum – just desserts for another excellent display. It was, for him, a rather simple effort which he decided to score for himself despite both George and Angus offering to score it for him.
The try highlight-reel doesn’t do this game justice because it was such a fantastic team performance where so much excellent activity took place to enable those tries to happen. Both scrum-halves had superb performances, Olly B is proving extremely adept at digging the ball out of challenging situations to maintain our momentum whilst Alex’s darting runs from the breakdown are hard for any defence to deal with. Shane used his strength to good effect all day, stripping a number of balls and clearing out rucks, whilst James H mixed his running with clean offloads. Tommy seemed to track every blade of grass and was often to be found in tandem with Lawrence C clearing out rucks and keeping things moving. If Tommy was off, Samuel was on, making a nuisance of himself at every breakdown and deploying his crazily telescopic legs to win opposition scrum ball
Tackler of the Match goes to a player who could probably win this every game. Austin B approaches each contact with absolute relish, and takes it as a personal affront if anyone beats him to a tackle. He demonstrates such power in rucks that he regularly pushes up to 4 opponents off the ball to secure it for us. We have made him our defensive captain and he is more than living up to the responsibility. He also showed excellent self-control despite being on the end of a little nefarious activity from a disgruntled Melksham player who was probably a tad weary from being consistently dumped on his backside.
Man of the Match today goes to Jake on the back of a number of strong, if understated performances. He made numerous excellent tackles, did his shift of clearing out rucks, and regularly provided sensible passes to continue attacking moves, his switch and try being excellent examples of an ever-improving rugby brain.