First Fixture of 2018
Rusty Rushden edge past Luton
After 4 weeks with no rugby and one non-contact training session Rushden & Higham U10s travelled to Luton for their first fixture of 2018. In their game against the first Luton team, Beau, Brodie, Callum, Harry, Isabel, James, Karter and Oliver made a great start with some strong attacking play and a couple of early tries. Although rucking was strong, communication in the team wasn't the best, and the they didn't take advantage of all attacks due to a lack of passing. When their tackling also let them down, the team found Luton coming back at them and eventually taking the lead. A late try from R&H tied the scores at 5-5 which was how it finished. Against the second Luton team, it was unfortunately more of the same with missed tackles against more physical opposition costing R&H dear and although there were sparks of individual skill in attack, they were not fully functioning as a team unit and went down 3-5.
The R&H team of Harley, Jonny, Liberty, Monty, Phoebe, Ryan, Thomas and Zac fared better against the first Luton team with strong attacking drives and better team play in defence. With their tough defensive play limiting Luton to 3 tries, R&H attack were too strong, despite playing flat and narrow, and they ran out 8-3 winners. Our hosts decided that they would make the last match longer and so both R&H teams combined against the second Luton team, predominantly playing a half each. In a tight game, R&H narrowly edged the breakdown and scored some good tries. In defence, the team did just enough to keep Luton one score behind and secure a 6-5 victory.
Even though our hosts didn't schedule R&H to play against Peterborough Lions, who had also travelled to Luton, the coaches of both teams decided to play one final game at the end. Tired after their earlier exertions, the two R&H teams were mixed together and appeared slightly disjointed against a Peterborough team who had been playing together all morning. They also seemed disoriented on a wider pitch after earlier matches had been played on narrow pitches and unfortunately this exposed their tendency to bunch around the ball. With no depth in the attacking line and too many players trying to run through the opposition without passing the ball, a strong Peterborough defence were able to prevent R&H from scoring and took advantage of missed tackles to score tries of their own. Despite being outplayed, R&H U10s stuck at it until the final whistle and did manage to score a few tries of their own.
Well done to Callum and Thomas, our players of the week, and Brodie for winning most improved player.
There are clearly things for us to work on in the next few weeks to return to our best; namely communication, positioning, passing and tackling. We will be working hard with the boys and girls to re-instil the importance of working together as a team.
Another match next Sunday as we entertain Oundle at Manor Park.