Lewis Boyce, Tom Burridge, Jack McPhillips are all in the North of England u16 squad. Sadly Fezan didn't make it but it has been a very busy, gruelling and rewarding experience for all of the players involved.
On Friday 10th of February they will play London & the South East and on Sunday 12th the South West, Both at Broadstreet RUFC.
Lewis Boyce, Tom Burridge, Jack McPhillips and Fezan Mughal have made it through to the North Of England Development Weekend at Leewds on 14/15 January 2012. Well done lads, a great achievement.
Commiserations to Josh Bainbridge, Sam Gaudie, Tom Mavin, Lorcan O'Donnell & Dan Osborn - You did us proud.
The latest round of inter County Games saw Yorkshire take on Cheshire and the combined Northumberland/Durham/Cumbria side take on Lancashire at Preston Grasshoppers RUFC. Again there was strong representation from Boro with Lewis Boyce and Tom Burridge in the Yorkshire Squad (Josh Bainbridge and Jack McPhillips still crocked but at least on the mend) and Tom Mavin, Fezan Mughal and Lorcan O’ Donnell in the combined squad (Dan Osborn understandably excused duties this weekend in the circumstances).
The first game between Lancs and Combined was a good competitive, fairly even game with the Combined squad always ahead but never quite able to forge far enough ahead to be comfortable. The Lancs team stuck at it well and kept pegging the lead back. The combined side running out 24-17 winners in the end. A great try for Fez showing both strength and speed to make yards and then force his way over in the corner with a great one handed touch down on the stretch (He must have been inspired by the watching Jason Robinson). Much better handling from Fez today although he did manage to spill his hot chocolate all over himself after the game much to everyone’s entertainment. A good solid game for a cold ridden Mav at 6 and a strong showing again from Lorcan off the bench this time, Lorcan again coming tantalising close to every props dream – the break away run in under the posts, sadly the ball not quite going to hand.
Next up was Yorkshire v Cheshire with the very strong Yorkshire squad running out comfortable 46-5 winners. The result in some way doesn’t do full justice to Cheshire who competed well, notably in the forwards and they had enough periods of both possession and territory to have possibly gained more points, but this Yorkshire side can defend as well as attack and were able to thwart the majority of the Cheshire attacks. Going forward Yorkshire were dominant, the forwards provided quick ball and the Yorkshire teams handling, all round organisation and particularly support play was exceptional – resulting in some really excellent team trys with backs and forwards linking superbly. Tom B had a very strong game at second row with a very high work rate throughout and Lewis had an enjoyable cameo role coming off the Bench for the last 15 mins.
The lads can now focus back on club Rugby for a while pending decisions/selections for the Northern Counties squad. From a Boro perspective we can be very proud with 9 lads in all taking part at this level and the overall quality and commitment of their play was a great credit to themselves, their coaches and their club – well done to you all.
On a slightly more worrying note the lads are beginning to wonder if the pressure of coping with losing players to County sides whilst still trying to maintain a fixture list for the U16 side is finally getting to JB. First off his usual high level of organisational skills flounder somewhat, see facebook, then he decides to watch the above proceedings in a hat that can only be described as “purple helmet” but Josh B’s comment best sums up the concern - why has JB brought an ironing board to sit on and watch the game from?
Lorcan, Mav, Fez, Dan O & Sam G (playing at 9) all started for Durham against Cheshire in what promised to be a close game. On balance a 3 try to 1 victory for Cheshire was probably a fair result on the day but Durham will be disappointed as they had more than enough ball and field position to have even won this game. Durham leaked 2 soft trys, one involving two missed tackles and the other when Cheshire spotted a 3-1 overlap on the blindside and exploited the lack of cover well. Durham also squandered a lot of ball and attacking opportunities. In the 2 previous Durham games the backs as a unit have performed particularly well but today they were just a bit below this level. Too many handling errors and things just not working out, credit to Cheshire who defended quickly and were strong in the contact, but today it was a case of what might have been. Great to see Sam G in a County shirt after so much bad luck with badly timed injuries over the last 2 seasons. Performance wise for our lads probably a day when Mav and Lorcan came out on top in a decent Durham forwards performance and the backs will just be looking forward to the next game.
Yorkshire fielded Tom B and Lewis B with Jack Mac and Josh B both still out injured. The 53-10 result was again fair and reflected Yorkshires greater fitness, speed, power and commitment – put bluntly Yorkshire on the day were just a much better side. With the game wrapped up by half time they could even afford the luxury of giving Lewis a rest for the second half!
The final round of matches sees Yorkshire take on Cheshire and the combined Counties side of (Durham, Cumbria & Northumberland) take on Lancashire.
31/10/11 The first of the inter county festival days was held at Woodhouse Grove School in Yorkshire on Sunday. Boro U16’s had 6 lads playing and but for injuries to Jack McPhillips, Josh Bainbridge & Sam Gaudie it could have been 9, a great achievement for the Club and players concerned. The first game was between Lancashire and Cheshire with Lancashire prevailing 18-5 in a fiercely competitive game. Worth noting that Warrington had 6 lads spread across the Lancs and Cheshire squads so the Warrington fixtures next year look as if they will be as tough as ever. The second game saw a combined Durham, Cumbria and Northumberland side (featuring Dan Osborn, Thomas Mavin, Fezan Mughal and Lorcan O'Donnell) take on Yorkshire including Tom Burridge and Lewis Boyce. From what I have seen over the last couple of years Yorkshire have been the strongest side, blessed with some outstanding players and the core of the team formed around the very well organised Leeds Academy side/players. However, with the strength of the Combined counties side and Yorkshire missing a few players the Counties fancied an upset. A really exciting match ensued with Yorkshire coming back from a 17-7 deficit in the last 15 minutes to run out 22-17 winners. The game had too many errors to be called a classic but it was an extremely close game with the combined side taking the honours in back play and the impressive Yorkshire pack finally overpowering the combined side in the last 15 minutes. Having never played together before (very evident in the line outs) it was a very impressive effort from the Combined side with the back row in particular really taking the game to Yorkshire. The Yorkshire backs squandered a lot of good ball and struggled against some quick and aggressive defence. But equally credit to Yorkshire as they didn’t panic and powered their way back into the match through the forwards who finally gained ascendancy in the last 15 minutes. The mark of a good side is still being able to win even when below their best and Yorkshire managed this. The Boro lads all did well, even scoring 3 of the 6 trys, a great finishing wingers score from Fez showing pace and strength for the Combined side, and then Lewis and Tom B combining well to put Tom B in on the wing and then Lewis grabbing one himself. Next up Yorkshire take on Lancashire in what promises to be another great battle and our Durham quartet revert to Durham duty against Cheshire. Good luck to all involved.