Fantastic Festival for Mini Sevens
Great day for a Festival of Sport
Review of the Hoylake RFC Mini Sevens Festival held at Hoylake on 6th May 2018
by Jason Davenport
Thanks to all for getting there so early as requested. It was important all boys were ready for the games ahead. The team out on the day were: Ellis, James O, Isaac, Patrick, Jack, Finn, Jake, George, James Mc and Paul
What a glorious day – perhaps too hot for a tournament, but that is a typically British view – it is either too hot or too cold never just right. As I entered the field, it was easy to spot our supporters – they were the ones without a marquee. Within minutes, and with the support of the mighty Lee and his muscles, the gazebo was rescued from the car and brought to the benefit of all, especially new baby Evans ?
Ahead of the games beginning we were reminded of the philosophical words of Baz Luhrmann – “everybody’s free to wear sunscreen” – with a good pasting of the sunscreen, the boys were pumped and ready.
The first Sefton game was at 10:40 – against the Ramsey’s. The first seven lined up and following a great passage of play Finn was the first to cross the try line and put numbers on the board for Sefton. Tenzin followed shortly after with a quick reply from Ramsey to even the score. Further strong play and support to each other saw Finn go over for a second – well done. Halfway into the first period of play saw the first scrum and Saul capitalized on this for Ramsay and levelled the score. With great passing to move the ball out, James Mc saw the opportunity, put the hammer down and ran for the line – great try. Ben went over for Ramsey to make half time 3-3
The second half belonged to Finn. The refreshed team came out and kept on moving the ball. George took control in moving the ball quickly, through two passes, often via James O and out to Finn. Ramsey did not know what hit them, was it a bird, was it a plane – no it is our own Finn – pumping his legs and touching down in a variety of styles he scored his third, fourth and fifth. Ramsey got a consilation point in the final moments of play and the game finished at 6-4 Great effort Sefton.
The second game was against Hoylake and Ellis came out as Captain. With quick lay off of the ball from Jack to George, then Finn got the ball for his first try of the game. Hoylake had a couple of players that had not been in the team we played earlier in the season – Michael was one of those who was very quick and went over for his first try, followed by another Hoylake try. Isaac was making some great tackles and during a strong period of play for Sefton, George made an excellent wide run and hit the try line – the video referee recorded a re-start; however, I do believe it was incorrect – well done George. Hoylake were making life difficult for Sefton and kept pushing hard. Jake made some great tackles and supported the rucks well and Paul showed great hands catching the ball and moving the team forward. The first half finished 4-2 to Hoylake. The boys rehydrated, and the coaches set about lifting their spirits – only two points deficit meant we could catch them.
The pressure continued with scrums won by Hoylake and further tries scored by Michael. A great effort supported by all helped George over the try line deep into the second half, however with Sammy and Thomas adding to Hoylake’s score the final score was 7-4
Ted then played a blinder and being a fireman, brought on the water – not all was drunk as some boys showered in the aqua!
The Third game was against New Brighton – which I thought was famous for an open-air swimming pool (in the 70’s) and long queues for ice cream (last Easter weekend). Well apparently, they have a half decent U-10s team – who knew ?
Captain Jack took the lead for this one, and despite all his mustering, the lads were beginning to show the effects of the heat on their desire to win. Whilst three tries were had by New Brighton, Finn got one over at the end of the first half to keep us in the game. All boys had their part to play, Isaac and James O getting stuck into the tackles, Paul and Jack moving the ball in the middle of the pitch James Mc and Finn searching for space to find a try scoring opportunity.
It had to be said that several the referees (and one who fist pumped his team’s victory at the end), provided particularly confusing challenges for the boys and appeared over strict in one game and less strict when his own team were playing. I do not wish to create a storm by this note- but it contributes to the boys then standing off in certain situations when they are conflicted by whether to make a play or not, based on “new” rules being learnt as they run!
The second half was hard fought but finished New Brighton as the victors 4 -2
The 4th game was Sefton v Waterloo. Jack stepped forward to Captain again. He passed quickly to his team to get the game underway. I don’t know if the sun was in the boy’s eyes, however the Waterloo team kept on bringing home tries and left our boys running out of fingers to count them on. It must be said, there was some great tackles and mid-field play, but too many balls were turned over and balls lost to the opposition. The second half started 4-0 to Waterloo with the effects of the heat starting to show. This referee was asking those on the line what is a maul and what is a ruck – good to know we were in safe hands!! At 6-0 it looked like all hope was lost but George, supported by all the boys created a great play and he went over for a very brave try at the end of the match and suffered for it. A couple of our boys were now feeling the effects of the hits both from and to them, as the game finished 6-1.
We then had a break for hotdogs and refreshments and some down-time to play with the club mascot – Clive the French bulldog – ahead of getting ready for the final game of the day.
It was Caldy Gold who admittedly had a couple of large units within their side. It was agreed with the Hoylake supporters that when Sefton were playing they would support us, so that we did likewise when they were playing. Thanks for the additional cheering Hoylake. Captain George took to the pitch and started with a pass to Finn, who played back to James O and that then went out wide to Patrick and back in to Jack. Though a good series of play we did not score and lost the ball in the tackle. Caldy were able to win the ball and counter on several occasions and we got to half time at 4-0 to Caldy.
Unfortunately, the second half showed that whilst all the team were present, we were unable to create a solid response and the game finished 6-0.
The boys all supported each other fantastically, and we were envious of those teams who had Tony to referee, as they were more free flowing.
Well done to all the boys, thanks to the Coaches and all the Parents and supporters and hopefully everyone has had a very enjoyable day and learnt that it is not just the taking part that is important - it is all about winning. Well done.