Sunday 8th Feb 2015 - Bridgnorth AWAY
Tough, tough morning at Bridgnorth!
Without a doubt, one of the toughest games we have faced this season, with both sides being pretty evenly matched across the board. Bridgnorth surprised us all, we knew they were a very good side, but they have increased the squad with the inclusion of several big strong players to add to their already fast and skilful team. They were undoubtedly one of the biggest sides we have faced this season.
That said, the games were extremely competitive with both teams putting in some great defence, but it was the off loading, support play and individual skills that really impressed this morning. Both teams were happy sending up big players into contact, but as the season has developed, so have the players abilities to start off loading more and looking to pass rather than just take the collision.
We still have a few issues with confidence through the team in tackling, but there really should be no need. When it comes to the crunch, we have seen that every player has the ability to make the tackles, its just about being confident enough to put the shoulder in and bring the players down rather than shirt grabbing or showing an arm. But, when the tackles did go in, they were good ones! With several try saving tackles in the corners or when players appeared to have a clear run in.
To the games -
Bridgnorth had a similar sized squad, so we split into 2 teams each and played the first couple of games on smaller pitches to give the kids plenty of game time. At the end, we got rid of the smaller pitches and used the full sized pitch..... and this is where they were really pushed. Fitness showed in some cases, but there was a lot of heart shown with players never giving up and chasing opposition all the way to the try line in the hope they could get their finger tips to them.
So, Stans Team =
It was great to see these playing together this week. James had an absolute stormer scoring 6 tries through the morning, combining strength and pace. On several occasions he made good yards himself with ball in hand, but it was his work tracking players and making himself available for the pop pass where he thrived receiving good off loads and sprinting into the corners to finish off. Max, was as ever all over the park, making tackles far beyond his size and covering every blade of grass to score 3 tries himself. Lucas was on form showing his wheels, though needs to concentrate on going forward not just around players. Harry was solid in defence, putting many of their bigger players down with some thundering hits. Sean and Cian were as pacey as ever, seeking out gaps, seeing Sean get over for well deserved try. Rhys was solid in defence putting some good tackles in and scoring a couple of tries early on. Joshua impressed in only his second game getting involved in the tackle and having some runs and William continued his impressive development supporting players and making himself an option for the pop pass in all games.
All in all, a very impressive morning from all the players in this squad.
Really impressed with the spirit of the game too. Reffing a couple of the games, both teams were respectful, there were no afters and animosity and it was a pleasure to be involved. Look forward to playing them again soon.
Game 1 - Drew 4 - 4
Players (tries) - James (2), Max, Harry, Cian, Rhys (2), Sean, William, Lucas, Joshua
Game 2 - Won 5-3
Players (tries) - James (2), Max (2), Sean (1), Harry, Cian, Rhys, William, Lucas, Joshua
Game 3 (big pitch) - Drew 3-3
Players (tries) - James (2), Max (1), Sean, Harry, Cian, Rhys, William, Lucas, Joshua
Mikes Report =
What started off as a foggy cold morning trip to bridgenorth turned out to be a warm sunny morning great for rugby. Another well turned out group of under 9's enabled us to field 2 sides of 9.
My team for the morning Ben, Laim, Matthew, Hendrix, Ollie,
Johnathon, Jude, Freddie and Danny.
Well the first thing I have to say is that Bridgenorth were by far the biggest size team we have met this season. They made freddie look average. That said the also had speed and passing abilty to match.
This all lead to some very strongly fort games with great defense from both teams. My team played 3 games.
Game 1 lost 3-2 tries hendrix (2)
Game 2 lost 4-2 tries danny (3)
Game 3 lost 4-1 tries danny ( I think)
With strong defensive lines and great tackling I have to mention both ben and liam tackling time and time again above there weight. Freddie and danny also putting in some brusing tackles that made the ground shake.
Going forward hendrix again lead the way with stright running and danny crash through the line to score some good sole tries.
Jonathan and new commer ollie also had some good forward runs beginning to get more involed in the game with matthew always close by in support.
Bridgenorth had good distrubition throughout the game but in Jude and ben we are sure to have good half backs always looking to distribute to our bigger guys in space.
Losses apart what great effort from all players against a strong well drilled side.